19 Oct 2010

Cruden, Slade still have shot at playing in World Cup

5:46 am on 19 October 2010

The All Blacks coach Graham Henry says rejected first fives Aaron Cruden and Colin Slade could still play for the All Blacks at next year's World Cup, despite Stephen Donald being preferred for the end of year tour.

Henry and co. recalled a host of former Test players to the All Blacks squad including Waikato playmaker Donald, Auckland flanker Daniel Braid, injured hooker Andrew Hore and wingers Sitiveni Sivivatu and Hosea Gear.

The coaches opted to take just two first fives with Donald to back up the injured Dan Carter, but Henry says the window of opportunity for Slade and Cruden to force their way back into the black jersey is still wide open.

The All Blacks' first game of the Northern tour is against the Wallabies in Hong Kong on October the 30th.