MX23RW : Monday, September 24 16:12:35

Graham Henry confident of Colin Slade

Henry confident of Carter replacement Slade
© PA Photos
All Blacks coach Graham Henry believes that Colin Slade will prove to be a good replacement for the injured Dan Carter.

New Zealand coach Graham Henry has said that he is expecting Dan Carter's replacement Colin Slade to play well at fly-half in his side's World Cup quarter-final against Argentina on Sunday.

Carter was ruled out of the tournament last week after he suffered a groin strain during kicking practice.

Despite the loss of their talisman, Henry believes that the inexperienced Slade will step up to the mark.

"I've been pleased with him - I think he's getting better. He's getting more comfortable in the group. He's obviously the navigator of the team playing at 10, he's got to run the ship.

"And that's a big ask when he's playing with guys who have played 100 Test matches and 75 Test matches and so on and he's played 10 at most. It's a big ask for him, but he's getting more comfortable, he's enjoying the environment - I think he'll play well."

Vcitory at this tournament on their home soil would mark the All Blacks' first World Cup triumph since 1987.

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Sonny Bill Williams
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