All Blacks eager to keep Slade

Date published: April 9 2015

Colin Slade, the All Blacks fly-half being linked with a move abroad, has "a really big future" with the side according to Steve Hansen.

Slade has been heavily linked with a move to France, with ProD2 side Pau keen on his services along with Toulon.

Being involved for New Zealand hasn't been easy for Slade with Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett all competing for the fly-half role, but Hansen has gone on record to praise his abilities.

The All Blacks head coach also added that keeping Slade would be useful after the Rugby World Cup, with Barrett tipped to be involved with New Zealand Sevens ahead of the Olympics and Carter joining Racing Métro.

"I see that he [Slade] has got a really big future. We have got the Olympics next year, for a start," Hansen told The Press.

"They are keen to take one of the five-eighths, probably Barrett I would say. He's [Slade] got plenty of Test matches left in him, it's just a matter of whether he wants to stay and do that.

"We really play well when we have two fly-halves on the park – as we saw when Beauden moved back to full-back in the Welsh game.

"Sladie came on and probably won the game for us with his astute kicking. And he won the game for us against Australia also [in Brisbane] – so his goalkicking is very valuable."

Hansen also added that moving overseas wouldn't affect Slade's chances of making the Rugby World Cup squad.

"It's not going to affect anyone – if they are playing well enough, they are going to get selected. Our first job is to pick the best team," stated Hansen.

"Then you look at who is staying and who is going. But it's not smacking him on the hand because he is leaving.

"We have given Colin all the feedback about what we feel about him but he has to go away and make that decision."