Planet Rugby

Carter fitness boost for All Blacks

16th June 2013 15:50

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SKY_MOBILE DAN CARTER

Dan Carter: Fit for final Test

All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter has been cleared to play in this week's third Test against France in New Plymouth.

A cracked hand bone sidelined Carter from the first Test in Auckland, won 23-13 and Saturday's second Test victory which allowed the All Blacks to wrap up the series with a game to spare.

But coach Steve Hansen said his back-line general was ready to play again and he should have a full squad to pick from for the third Test in Hamilton, including captain Kieran Read and lock Sam Whitelock.

Read was reduced to a near walk for a period late in the first half on Saturday when he suffered a blow to the back and Whitelock required treatment for a knock to an elbow.

"Everyone should be available for selection, including DC (Dan Carter), so that's good news," Hansen said Sunday.

"But clearly there's a few guys that are sore. Reado (Read) being one, and Sam Whitelock has got a sore elbow just to name a couple. Everyone is expected to be available."

Lock Brodie Retallick pulled a hamstring last week and is expected to be out for three weeks but Hansen said he would not be bringing in a replacement.

He also indicated he may make changes for the third Test, possibly looking at new squad members Charles Piutau, Francis Saili and Steven Luatua.

"Obviously the series has been won, we've talked about taking risks, so perhaps we may have an opportunity to make some changes," he said.

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