All Blacks sweat on Carter

 Jun 03,2013
Written by: Editor

All Blacks fly-half Daniel Carter has cracked a bone in his hand which could rule him out of Saturday's first Test against France in Auckland.

Carter sustained the injury during the Crusaders' 23-22 win over the Waratahs on Friday.

The hand is swollen and coach Steve Hansen said a decision on whether Carter would be able to play on Saturday would be made later in the week.

"It's only a crack, it's not completely broken, not displaced," he revealed.

"We'll see how the swelling goes and make a decision on that late in the week."

There was also a question mark over three of the five props in the All Blacks' 32-man Test squad with Tony Woodcock, Owen Franks and the uncapped Ben Afeaki all suffering hamstring strains.

Scrum-half Piri Weepu was not suffering any side effects after being concussed in the Blues' 38-28 loss to the Highlanders, but had not yet been cleared to play and would be limited to non-contact training.

"Until such a time as he gets all the tests done and he passes them, we'll consider him not okay," said Hansen.

If the 94-Test Carter is ruled out of the match, Aaron Cruden is likely to start at fly-half with Aaron Smith expected to take the number nine jersey if Weepu fails his medical test.

With Ben Franks and Wyatt Crockett the only fit props in the squad, the Crusaders' Joe Moody has been called into the All Blacks camp.

France play three Tests in New Zealand as well as a match against the Blues.


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