Carter named in NZ squad
Auckland - Flyhalf Dan Carter has been named in New Zealand's 28-man squad for the All Blacks' Rugby Championship Tests in Argentina and South Africa and should be fit for the clash against the Pumas next week, coach Steve Hansen said on Friday.
Dan Carter (Gallo Images)
"Dan is recovering well from his calf injury and we are expecting him to be fit for selection for the Argentinian Test," Hansen said in a statement.
"However, to be on the safe side we are also taking Beauden Barrett as cover at flyhalf, alongside Aaron Cruden."
Carter, rated one of the world's finest at the position, has been troubled by a calf strain that caused him to miss the All Blacks' last two matches of the southern hemisphere tournament against Argentina and South Africa on home soil.
Understudy Cruden stood in at the pivotal position and although initially struggling in the grinding victory over the Pumas at Wellington, was a more composed presence in the team's tight win over the Springboks in Dunedin.
Accommodating the three flyhalves in the tour squad had meant leaving a prop behind, Hansen said.
Props Charlie Faumuina, Ben and Owen Franks, and Tony Woodcock were picked, meaning Wyatt Crockett misses out.
New Zealand have won all four of their matches in the inaugural Rugby Championship, which sees Argentina added to the now-defunct Tri-Nations, and a win over the Pumas in La Plata on September 29 would be enough to clinch the trophy.
The All Blacks close out their tournament against the Springboks in Johannesburg on October 6.
New Zealand squad:
Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu, Beauden Barrett, Daniel Carter, Aaron Cruden, Tamati Ellison, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Israel Dagg, Hosea Gear, Cory Jane, Ben Smith, Julian Savea
Andrew Hore, Keven Mealamu, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Adam Thomson, Victor Vito