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Carter to miss Wales clash

Dan Carter has been ruled out of the New Zealand team for Saturday's Test match against Wales in Cardiff, Press Association Sport understands.

It is thought that fly-half Carter will be replaced by Aaron Cruden, with Beauden Barrett joining the replacements' bench. Carter, who has won 93 caps, suffered a leg injury during All Blacks training at the University of Glamorgan on Thursday.

There has so far been no official confirmation from the All Blacks camp surrounding his withdrawal. Carter, though, has Tweeted a picture of All Blacks training inside the Millennium Stadium on Friday afternoon. In the same post, he said: "Gutted not to be playing with these boys in this stadium tomorrow".

In nine appearances against Wales Carter has scored 162 points and never been on the losing side.

Carter's tweet was followed by confirmation from All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw at the Millennium Stadium that Cruden will wear the number 10 shirt on Saturday.

The 30-year-old's injury is believed to be Achilles-related. "It is something you can't control," McCaw told journalists. "It is disappointing for Dan, but the next guy will come in and we will try to give him some good ball to operate with.

"Aaron has played a few Tests, some pretty big games. Dan is a pretty good footballer, 90-something Tests. He is hard to replace, but we've got to get on and have belief in the next guys."

Cruden, 23, has won 18 caps, and he has yet to taste defeat in an All Blacks shirt.

He was called into the All Blacks squad during last year's World Cup as replacement for an injured Carter, who damaged his groin during training.

Cruden went on to start the All Blacks' semi-final victory over Australia in Auckland, and then started the final against France before he was forced off just before half-time due to a knee problem.


From Belfast Telegraph