5 Jun 2013

All Blacks will be fine without Carter

12:47 pm on 5 June 2013

The All Blacks aren't expecting to skip a beat even if first five Dan Carter is ruled out of the opening test against France at Eden Park this weekend.

Carter has a cracked bone in his hand and is in doubt for the match, which could mean Aaron Cruden starts his 21st test.

The All Blacks have survived without Carter before, most noteably in the 2011 World Cup.

Centre Conrad Smith says the game plan won't change if 64-Test veteran Carter is ruled out. He says that has been a strength of All Black sides in recent years, that however is picked does the job.

Meanwhile halfback Piri Weepu will undergo further tests over the next few days after suffering a concussion at the weekend.

And props Tony Woodcock, Ben Afeaki and Owen Franks all have hamstring or calf issues.

Crusaders prop Joe Moody's been brought in to help with scrummaging training, though coach Steve Hansen says the frontrowers could all pull up fine for Saturday.