DAN CARTER AND and prop Tony Woodcock will miss New Zealand’s Test against Ireland on Sunday after picking up injuries against England.
Carter’s 100th Test appearance was cut short when he limped off with an Achilles’ injury in the first-half of the 30-22 victory at Twickenham, while Woodcock did not emerge for the second half after hurting his hamstring just before the break.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the pair would return to New Zealand as the rest of the squad prepare for the Ireland Test, in which they will bid to become the first international team in rugby’s professional era to win every match of the season.
“Dan has not had a scan yet, but [team medics] said with the problems he’s been having it’s just too big a risk to go through the week,” Hansen said in remarks released on the All Blacks official website. “We’ve got Crudes [Aaron Cruden] and Beauden [Barrett] who can both do the job, so we’ll just get on with it with those two.”
The Achilles problem brought Carter’s season to an anti-climactic end. He was already scheduled to take an extended break from the game after the Ireland Test to try to ensure he is fit for the 2015 World Cup. The 31-year-old will sit out England’s three-Test tour to New Zealand in June next year and most of the 2014 Super Rugby season.
Carter, widely regarded as the best player ever in his position, has been plagued by injuries for years, rupturing an Achilles playing club rugby in France and missing much of New Zealand’s triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign with a groin strain.
Irish rugby supporters are set to learn the fate of injured backs Jonny Sexton and Rob Kearney tomorrow. The duo are having scans and medical checks on respective hamstring and hip injuries today.