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Carter in injury scare

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

CARDIFF - All Blacks five-eighth Dan Carter could miss the Test against Wales after limping from the training field with a leg injury on Thursday.

Carter managed 20 minutes of the session in cold, wet conditions at Pontypridd before twinging his right leg when kicking a ball.

He swapped bibs with reserve No.10 Aaron Cruden, who will back up from last week's Test against Italy if Carter is ruled out of the Test on Sunday morning. The training session finished early because of the bad weather.

Coach Steven Hansen says Carter will be monitored over the next 24 hours, with an update likely after the captain's run on Friday (Saturday Fiji time).

The injury leaves the All Blacks short at five-eighth, with Beauden Barrett still nursing a rib injury he suffered in last week's 42-10 win over Italy in Rome.

Replacement halfback Piri Weepu could be called on to provide back-up to Cruden.

Carter has struggled with a range of injuries throughout his career and a calf strain ruled him out of Tests against Argentina and South Africa earlier this season.

He missed the majority of last year's World Cup campaign after injuring his groin ahead of New Zealand's pool match against Canada, needing surgery to repair the damage.

The All Blacks received better news on the injury front from halfback Aaron Smith, who ran well for the abbreviated session after injuring his knee in the win over Italy.

After mixing up his selections for the first two rugby Tests of the European tour, Hansen has opted for his top line-up for the match at Millennium Stadium.

He has made eight changes to the 15 that started in the win over Italy, including the return of skipper Richie McCaw for his 115th cap.

Loose forward Adam Thomson was not considered for the Wales Test, after the IRB announced it was appealing against the length of the one-match suspension imposed last week for foul play against Scotland.





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