All Blacks add Slade and Parsons to tour squad

The New Zealand All Blacks have called up Crusaders first five-eighth Colin Slade and Blues hooker James Parsons as injury replacements for Cory Jane and Nathan Harris.

Hooker Nathan Harris and wing Cory Jane were both injured in the Test against the USA and went off injured with a hamstring and ankle injury respectively.

They were both ruled out for the rest of the tour which includes internationals against England, Scotland and Wales.

While Slade has played on the wing for the All Blacks before Israel Dagg, Julian Savea, Ben Smith and Charles Piutau will be considered as wingers against England.

Dane Coles and Keven Mealamu are in the All Black squad so Parsons comes in as third choice hooker.

Slade and Parsons were already in London England after playing part in the Barbarians 36-40 loss to the Wallabies so their inclusion was a logical choice.

“James is one of a group we have been looking at,” assistant coach Ian Foster said on the All Black site.

“In some ways it has been made simpler by the fact he is over here but what is more important is that he has just come off a big game of rugby whereas, maybe the other guys haven’t had much rugby over the last two or three weeks.”

“Last year, one of the reasons James wasn’t brought in was because he was a bit small, but we have certainly met him with this year and he set himself some goals about the size and strength in that certain area.”

Slade enjoyed a strong game against the Barbarians and kicked the match winning goal for the All Blacks against the Wallabies in Brisbane. His versatility will be a bonus for the All Blacks.

“We are probably going to have to adjust a few plans now that CJ is gone,” Foster said.

“But the thing with Sladie is he has been with us quite a bit through the Rugby Championship anyway,” Foster said.

Meanwhile the All Blacks management have confirmed that Dan Carter is now match fit to face England after his appearance off the bench in the USA.

Sonny Bill Williams has a hip injury but it is not considered a major problem.

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