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.
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?