Although Dan Carter will miss the All Blacks' clash with the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday, the hosts are not resting on their laurels.
Although All Blacks pivot Dan Carter will miss Saturday's Rugby Championship opener with the Wallabies in Sydney, due to injury, the home side are not resting on their laurels.
Ewen McKenzie's charges are aware of the dangers posed by Carter's replacement Aaron Cruden, who has proved to be a top quality replacement for the all-time leading Test points scorer.
Cruden showed his class by steering the Chiefs to a second consecutive Super Rugby title this month, despite some uncharacteristically erratic goalkicking in the final against the Brumbies.
And although Carter's withdrawal due to a calf injury is a setback to the All Blacks, Wallabies utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper expects Cruden to be a threat this weekend.
“Obviously that's a big loss for the Kiwi team, but they've got enough depth to cover that,” Ashley-Cooper told AAP.
“I think Aaron Cruden will do a pretty good job.
“He'll slot right in nicely, so I don't think there will be too much disruption to the Kiwi team.
“Aaron played the first two games of the French series and he did a pretty good job there.”