By Lee Stace in Dunedin
ALL BLACKS first five Colin Slade says his groin injury will not prevent him from kicking goals against Fiji in Dunedin on Friday night.
The only specialist kicker in the team named to play the Pacific islanders, Slade has not kicked from the tee since making his comeback from the sick-bay after breaking his jaw for a second time during the Highlanders' Super Rugby campaign.
Close observers would have also noticed during the Auckland v Canterbury ITM Cup match last Sunday that he only kicked off his left foot.
But the one-test All Black confirmed this morning that he will perform the kicking duties at Carisbrook when the Men in Black kickoff their international season.
“I did some goalkicking yesterday and I’ll do the kicking [on Friday] night,” he told reporters.
“I’ll do a bit more over the next couple of days and should be good to go.”
Slade, who will play his first test on home soil, says he has been managing the injury on and off for the past 18 months.
Asked whether he requires surgery, he says it was “too early” for that.
“It’s manageable and I can continue to play. I’ve had it up and down for the last 18 months, so it hasn’t held me back too much. It’s just a matter of getting it reconditioned to playing rugby and kicking at the same time.
“Obviously I haven’t done a lot of goalkicking in the last three months, but it’s just a matter of getting back into it… We’ve slowly got a plan in place that will see it come right.”« Back to Articles
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