Dan Carter ruled out of Japan clash

by RUGBY.com.au staff

All Blacks star five-eighth Dan Carter has been ruled out of Friday night's Rugby World Cup clash with Japan due to a sore back.

Carter has failed to recover from the stiffness he suffered during the World Cup opener against Tonga on Friday and will be replaced by Colin Slade for the Hamilton match.

Halfback Jimmy Cowan comes onto the bench, and Piri Weepu will now provide cover for the No.10 spot.

All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said Carter had been recovering well from a stiff lower back, but wouldn't be risked.

"He pulled up sore at an indoor training session this morning so we have made the decision not to risk him for the Japan match," Robinson said.

"We will aim to have him back fully training next week in preparation for the France Test."

New Zealand XV: Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Richard Kahui, Colin Slade, Andy Ellis, Adam Thomson, Richie McCaw (capt), Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Andrew Hore, John Afoa, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Piri Weepu, Jimmy Cowan, Sonny Bill Williams.