Back injury rules Carter out of Japan match
HAMILTON, 14 Sept. - New Zealand fly half Dan Carter, the world's leading Test points scorer, has been forced out of Friday's match against Japan with a back injury. Carter sustained the injury in the Rugby World Cup 2011 opener against Tonga last Friday. All Blacks coach Graham Henry had named Carter in the starting line-up but hinted his selection was subject to the No.10 proving his fitness in training. "He's got to get through training," he said. "However, it's going to be a flexible decision. He won't play unless he's right."
All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said: “The key thing is that Daniel had been recovering well from a stiff lower back. However, he pulled up sore at an indoor training session this morning so we have made the decision not to risk him for the Japan match and we will aim to have him back fully training next week in preparation for the France Test.”
Carter has been replaced by Colin Slade in the starting line-up for the match at Waikato Stadium, with scrum half Jimmy Cowan coming on to the bench and Piri Weepu providing cover for Slade.
Carter has scored 1,238 points in Test rugby, just 12 points more than Jonny Wilkinson (ENG).