Carter fit for France game
Auckland - Star flyhalf Dan Carter is fit again and available for selection with the All Blacks in Saturday's Eden Park showdown with France, the team's assistant coach Steve Hansen said on Wednesday.
"Yes. Ready to go. Great for the tournament and great for him and great for us. He's a great player and you want your great players, in all the sides, to be available to play," Hansen said.
Carter picked up a back injury after taking some crunching tackles in the opener against Tonga on September 9 and has been having treatment ever since.
If selected for the France game he will go up against Morgan Parra, who has been switched from his customary scrumhalf position to play at No 10 replacing the disappointing Francois Trinh-Duc who drops down to the bench.
Parra will link up with Dimitri Yachvili who had been his rival for the scrum-half position, and they will play together at halfback for the first time in Saturday's match.
Sections of the New Zealand media have rounded on the French selection saying that it did not include their best players, but Hansen was categoric, it changed nothing for the All Blacks.
"It's a really good side and their coach (Marc Livremont) has picked what he thinks is the best team for this competition. We'll treat them with the utmost respect, as we always do," he said.
"We're just preparing as if it's the best French team that they could pick."
But he did admit that Parra's selection at flyhalf would come under close All Black scrutiny.
"He's playing in a position that internationally is new to him and clearly it would be very remiss of us if we didn't pay him some attention," he said.