Carter suffers World Cup KO
October 2, 2011
All Blacks head coach Graham Henry tries to come to terms with the bad news as team doctor Deb Robinson looks on © Getty Images
New Zealand's Rugby World Cup hopes have been dealt a crushing blow with the news that fly-half Dan Carter has ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
The 29-year-old Crusaders ace suffered a groin injury during the All Blacks' final training session yesterday ahead of their Pool A clash against Canada in Wellington. "The scan confirmed our worst fears, that the tendon has torn, which means he is out of the tournament," said team doctor Deb Robinson.
Under tournament rules, the All Blacks will now seek approval to bring in a new player, with Manawatu's Aaron Cruden set to be called into the All Blacks squad. Carter will see a specialist early next week to determine the next course of treatment for him, with surgery a possibility.
All Blacks boss Graham Henry admitted that the timing of the injury had come as a massive blow for the player, his team-mates, the coaching staff and, indeed, the entire nation.
"It is devastating for Daniel," Henry said. "He has been a world-class player for a long time, probably one of the greatest players ever produced by this country. This was going to be his pinnacle, the Rugby World Cup. We've had a lot of focus on this tournament for the last couple of years, and it is devastating he cannot be involved in that.
"It is a tragic situation for a highly-talented young sportsman. This was his scene, really - a World Cup in New Zealand and it was going to be his big occasion.
"He doesn't talk that way, it's the coach talking, so I feel very sad for him. He is the type of guy who will handle this as best he can and he's got a huge strength of character. He is a key All Black, not only on the field as the navigator of this team for a long time, but a key person off it.
"He's got great character and I just feel huge sympathy for him and his situation. The group is obviously very shattered with this news, but they are also a very resilient group of people focused on doing this job right."
Carter was to have captained the All Blacks in today's final Pool match against Canada. As announced yesterday, Colin Slade will start Sunday's Test with hooker Andrew Hore to captain the All Blacks.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton