4 Oct 2011

All Blacks confident Slade can fill Carter's boots

11:23 pm on 4 October 2011

The All Blacks' coaching staff have moved to ease fears over the loss of star first five-eighth Dan Carter, maintaining nothing has changed as far as their Rugby World Cup plans are concerned.

Assistant coach Wayne Smith is confident Colin Slade can fill Carter's boots in the knockout phase of the tournament.

Carter, 29, has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament after badly injuring a tendon in his groin during kicking practice on Saturday.

Slade played his ninth test against Canada in the side's final pool game on Sunday, but showed a few of nerves and struggled with his goal kicking, Reuters reports.

Smith says Slade has the full backing of the squad as he adjusts to being the first-choice first five-eighth, has a good skill set and is strong defensively.

He says as far as the All Blacks are concerned nothing has changed, as their plans, expectations and belief are the same.

"If you walk in the company of people who believe in you, you can achieve anything. He's got all the tools to make a go of it and he's got the belief and encouragement from the squad."

Aaron Cruden has been called up to replace Carter in the squad and Smith said the 22-year-old would be expected to play his natural game if he got his chance.