3 Oct 2011

Slade is the boy, says Henry

4:22 pm on 3 October 2011

Colin Slade is the All Blacks' first-choice first five-eighth at this stage, coach Graham Henry says.

Slade had a solid game in their 79-15 victory over Canada in New Zealand's final Rugby World Cup pool match in Wellington on Sunday, although he was not under a lot of pressure defensively.

Slade is under scrutiny following a groin injury that put Dan Carter out of the tournament.

''He played pretty well today. He just needs more football,'' Henry said after the match.

However, he conceded Slade's goal kicking is a concern. He missed four of his eight attempts at conversions on Sunday.

Former Rugby News editor Bob Howitt says the All Blacks will make it through the quarterfinals

He told Morning Report he was delighted with Slade's performance.

Importantly, he said, the All Black forwards were playing well and it was the sort of forward pack that could help win the World Cup.