Carter and Williams named in provisional New Zealand Tour Squad
Steve Hansen has named his New Zealand squad following the win over Australia, as fly-half Dan Carter did enough to convince the former Canterbury player that he was worthy of selection.
Perhaps controversially, Carter replaces Colin Slade in the squad, who kicked the conversion that won the match over their southern hemisphere rivals.
Hansen, however, said on Carter: “He’s been training without being able to play because he’s had a bit of nerve damage to the leg he broke.
“He’s getting better and better all the time and he’s extremely confident of being able to play. He knows his body better than anybody and if he’s confident, I’m confident.”
It is perhaps harsh on Slade, though Hansen has said that the player may come back in, if Carter has a setback in his recovery.
“We’ve spoken to Sladey about the DC situation,” Hansen added. “We’ll monitor DC this week and get an idea of where he’s likely to be. If DC can’t make this trip because of his leg then Colin Slade will come back in.”
Sonny Bill Williams is also involved in the tour, after swapping to rugby union, from league last season having previously played for Sydney Roosters. The most surprising selection was perhaps lock Luke Romano, after breaking his leg and not playing for five months.
“Luke hasn’t played a lot of rugby due to injury over the last 18 months, so we thought it would be good to get him back into the All Black way,” continued Hansen.
No doubt Hansen will take this tour as a great chance to monitor how his players respond in the northern hemisphere, with England hosting the World Cup next year, a tournament the All Blacks are 6/4 favourites with Coral to win.
New Zealand provisional tour squad:
Backs – Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Charles Piutau, Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Malakai Fekitoa, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Dan Carter, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Augustine Pulu.
Forwards – Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Liam Messam, Victor Vito, Patrick Tuipulotu, Brodie Retallick, Jeremy Thrush, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Joe Moody, Wyatt Crockett, Dane Coles, Keven Mealamu, Nathan Harris.