Carter gearing up to return against England
New Zealand outhalf Dan Carter is confident he will be fit to face England at Twickenham on Saturday. He missed last Saturday’s 33-10 defeat by Wales with Achilles and calf problems, but expects to return for the All Blacks’ final match of the year and win his 94th cap.
“Hopefully I’ll be ready, nothing’s changed over the last couple of days,” he said. “The plan was to get through training and it was pretty light today, I didn’t go over 50 per cent. I got through it well. I’m pretty confident I’ll be right to play, I just need some positive thinking.”
Meanwhile, Courtney Lawes has been confirmed in England’s 23-man squad. The Northampton lock, who made his comeback from a knee injury in the Saints’ Premiership win against London Welsh on Saturday, has replaced Mouritz Botha.
The only other change to England’s match-day squad from last Saturday’s 16-15 defeat to South Africa is in the inclusion of uncapped Gloucester outhalf Freddie Burns in place of the injured Toby Flood.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster will confirm his starting XV tomorrow morning but he is expected to make only one change, with Owen Farrell due to replace Flood at outhalf.
Wales boss Warren Gatland put back his scheduled team announcement yesterday to tomorrow for Saturday’s clash with Australia, with injuries continuing to test resources. Davies and Jarvis are confirmed non-starters to face the Wallabies, while Roberts, wing George North, lock Ian Evans and flanker Ryan Jones are among those battling for full fitness.
“We are going to give some players as much time as possible, so we are looking at Thursday,” forward coach Robin McBryde added.
“Ian Evans took a part in training this morning but we are not forcing anybody. Thursday will be the important day for us.”