A CALF injury will again keep Dan Carter out of the All Blacks line-up for its next Rugby Championship match against South Africa in Dunedin on Saturday.
Carter was ruled out of Saturday night's 21-5 victory against Argentina in Wellington, and coach Steve Hansen said the aim was to have the 30-year-old back in time for the return clash against the Pumas in La Plata on September 30.
"He's getting older isn't he. And the more you play the game the more vulnerable you are to injury, and he's got quite a few miles on the clock," Hansen said. "So that's just standard for any older player. He's got to be smart and we've got to be smart in how we deal with it.
"Just at the moment it's about getting him on the park. It's as much about that as it is about the long term. He's what we call a 'red-flag athlete'. He's a high risk of getting re-injured so we have to be smart about the wear and tear of his body and how much pressure we put him under."
With Carter out, Aaron Cruden will get another opportunity to start at fly-half despite a mixed performance in Wellington.
The other option for Hansen would be to elevate Beauden Barrett from the bench.
Cruden may find himself playing alongside a different half-back against the Springboks, with Piri Weepu likely to come in for Aaron Smith who was given a working over by the aggressive Pumas. - APNZ
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