New Zealand Rugby
Slade struggles to make an impression
July 8, 2011
Slade is hoping to be selected as Dan Carter's back-up for this year's Tri-Nations and Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
All Blacks hopeful Colin Slade struggled to further his international claims as his Canterbury side slumped to a 40-14 pre-season loss to Wellington in Petone on Friday.
Slade, who is making his comeback from a second broken jaw, faces stiff competition from Aaron Cruden to be Dan Carter's deputy during this year's Tri-Nations and Rugby World Cup but did little to boost his claims in a 40 minute cameo in difficult conditions.
The Dominion Post reports that Slade, playing with a minor groin injury, did not take Canterbury's re-starts or shots at goal and saw little ball in general play. In restricting him to just one half in addition to last Saturday's Ranfurly Shield defence against North Otago, the All Blacks selectors already appear to know all they need to about the 23-year-old who won his solitary Test cap against Australia last year.
Canterbury coach Rob Penney admitted the muddy conditions did not help his No.10. "The conditions weren't great for him to be pulling his legs out of the mud considering he has got some groin issues," Penney said. "Forty minutes today was sufficient. It's just a shame that at the moment he's got these little issues that are holding him back."
Wellington also had a few players pushing for the nod in Sunday's All Blacks squad with scrum-half Piri Weepu, centre Conrad Smith and fullback Cory Jane all making notable contributions.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888