Crusader Slade focused on final after All Black snub

All Blacks and Crusaders back Colin Slade says that he is focused on winning the Super Rugby final and the Crusaders eight title rather than being snubbed by the All Blacks.

The Crusaders face the Waratahs in the 2014 Super Rugby final on Saturday and despite having enjoying some of his best form Slade was left out of the All Black squad for the Rugby Championship.

Slade says that he can’t do anything about being omitted from All Black coach Steve Hansen’s Rugby Championship squad so he will just focus on beating the Waratahs.

“I had probably prepared myself, a little bit, for it,” Slade told The Press.

“It’s a bit of a numbers game isn’t it? You can’t take everyone. “

“But turning up on Monday and seeing how excited the squad is for this game here, you get over it really quickly. I have got someone really good to focus on this week, which certainly makes it easy to take your mind off it. It’s a massive occasion for me.”

Slade’s place in the All Black squad was taken by Dan Carter who he has kept out of the Crusaders No.10 jersey since the All Black star returned from his six month sabbatical.

The All Blacks included Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett as their reserve first-five options so there was no space for Slade.

Slade’s Crusaders team-mates Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty were also left out of the All Black squad despite their impressive form in Super Rugby.

Slade has played in several backline positions in his career and against the Sharks he moved to the right wing on several occassions so that the Crusaders could use his ability to take the high ball.

“It was a wee plan we had for the Sharks,” he confirmed.

“Every week we could tinker with that – the Waratahs don’t kick too much so I don’t think we will be doing that this week.”

That tactic might have worked against the Sharks but against the Waratahs the Crusaders will need an entirely different game plan and they will be reluctant to kick too much as it has the potential to unleash star fullback Israel Folau who had built a reputation under the high ball.

“We have got a few plans but I think we will keep them to ourselves at this stage,” Slade added.

“He (Folau) is definitely someone we talked about, he’s a powerful weapon for them so we just have to limit those opportunities.

“They (the Sharks and Waratahs) are chalk and cheese, really. We know they (the Waratahs) are going to run it, I don’t think they are going to change for the final.”

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