All Blacks call up Donald and Gear
October 10, 2011
Former Highlanders fly-half has been drafted into the All Blacks squad © Getty Images
The All Blacks have called up fly-half Stephen Donald and winger Hosea Gear to replace Mils Muliaina and Colin Slade.
Muliaina, who earned his 100th cap against South Africa in the World Cup quarter-final, has fractured his shoulder while Slade has been ruled out with a groin tear. Slade had been promoted to number one choice at No.10 following Dan Carter's groin injury but his time in the spotlight was shortlived and the All Blacks will now have to choose between Aaron Cruden, who was called up as cover for Carter, Donald and the versatile Piri Weepu at No.10.
Gear, who has eight caps for New Zealand, featured in this year's Tri-Nations but narrowly missed out on the original World Cup squad.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry confirmed that Cruden would now be the first-choice fly-half ahead of New Zealand's semi-final clash with Australia on Sunday.
An emotional Muliaina faced the media on Monday, "I know I won't be back," he said. "I'm just proud to be a kiwi and proud to be an All Black."
On a positive note for the All Blacks injured duo Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui are fit for selection for Sunday's clash in Auckland.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin