NZ call up Slade, Parsons

2014-11-04 08:32
Colin Slade (Gallo)

Wellington - The All Blacks on Tuesday drafted in Colin Slade and James Parsons as injury cover ahead of the world champions' blockbuster Test against England on Saturday.

Slade was brought into New Zealand's 34-man squad to bolster the backline after winger Cory Jane tweaked a hamstring in their 74-6 win over the United States last weekend, while Parsons will replace Nathan Harris, who injured his ankle in the same match.

Both players were already in London after participating in the Barbarians team defeated 36-40 by Australia last Saturday, so will simply link up with their compatriots ahead of the Test at Twickenham.

The All Blacks announced the update just before the squad arrived in Britain for Tests against England, Scotland and Wales.

Slade was considered unlucky to have missed out on the squad in the first place after kicking New Zealand to a 29-28 win over Australia last month, only for selectors to give star flyhalf Dan Carter an armchair ride back from injury.

He already has 15 Test caps while Parsons, the Auckland Blues hooker, is uncapped and considered a more left-field choice.

The 27-year-old will provide cover for Dane Coles and Keven Mealamu at hooker, a position where the All Blacks have admitted they lack the depth evident elsewhere in the team.

"Looking forward to getting stuck into the week ahead," Parsons tweeted.

The Test against England is seen as the toughest match of the tour, with the All Blacks keen to gain a psychological advantage ahead of next year's World Cup.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  colin slade  |  rugby

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