Being dropped from the All Blacks wasn't the best way for Colin Slade to prepare for Saturday's final but he's not complaining.
Being dropped from the All Blacks squad wasn't the best way for Colin Slade to prepare for the Super Rugby Final but he's not moaning about it.
The Crusaders fly-half is focused on Saturday's clash with the Waratahs in Sydney and has put his omission from Steve Hansen's Rugby Championship squad behind him.
''I had probably prepared myself, a little bit, for it,'' Slade told Fairfax Media.
''It's a bit of a numbers game isn't it? You can't take everyone.
''But turning up on Monday and seeing how excited the squad is for this game here, you get over it really quickly.
“I have got someone really good to focus on this week, which certainly makes it easy to take your mind off it. It's a massive occasion for me.''
Slade was one of three Crusaders who missed the final cut for the All Blacks' Rugby Championship squad – along with centre Ryan Crotty and flanker Matt Todd – and his place as fly-half was taken by team-mate Dan Carter, who joins Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett as New Zealand's three pivots for the tournament.
During the Crusaders' 38-6 victory over the Sharks in last weekend's semi-final in Christchurch, Slade was shifted out to the wing on several occasions to compete in the air for the high ball.
The tactic was successful as Slade's prowess in the air got the better of his opponents.
''It was a wee plan we had for the Sharks,'' he revealed.
''Every week we could tinker with that – the Waratahs don't kick too much so I don't think we will be doing that this week.''
That tactic might have been successful against the Sharks but the Crusaders will be wary of repeating it as Waratahs full-back Israel Folau is also renowned for his ability to gather the high ball.
''We have got a few plans but I think we will keep them to ourselves at this stage,'' added Slade.
''He is definitely someone we talked about, he's a powerful weapon for them so we just have to limit those opportunities.
''They [the Sharks and Waratahs] are chalk and cheese, really. We know they [the Waratahs] are going to run it, I don't think they are going to change for the final.''