World Cup concerns for Colin Slade? Fears sizzling first-five may have serious injury

There is plenty of concern surrounding the extent of All Black Colin Slade's injury.

Slade injured his quad during the warm-up to the Crusaders loss to the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night.

Coach Todd Blackadder admits they should have decided not to have played him, as this may have resulted in a more long term injury.

However the All Black utility insisted that he wanted to play, the injury forced Slade off the field late in the first half.

The Crusaders are unsure of the exact injury and he's undergoing further assessments of what could potentially be a long term injury.

Also being assessed is fullback Israel Dagg who re-aggravated his calf injury and was ruled out of last weekend's match, it's also unclear how long this niggle could side-line him for.

This comes on a growing list of Crusaders players with Ryan Crotty, Sam Whitelock and Kieran Read all not considered for Friday night's battle with the Hurricanes due to head knocks, and front rower Joe Moody also has a foot injury.

Slade, Dagg and Crotty were all at training today in Christchurch seeking medical treatment.

The All Blacks already have Aaron Cruden side-lined long term with a knee reconstruction, while Beauden Barrett is also recovering from a leg injury.


No long sabbaticals for All Blacks stars Brodie Retallick and Julian Savea

Neither Brodie Retallick and Julian Savea's new contracts include provisions for lengthy overseas sabbaticals.

NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew confirmed in Wellington that the pair had resigned today. The new deals mean both players will be signed to their Super 15 clubs until 2019.

The duo are two of rugby's most feared players, with Chiefs lock Retallick, 23, the current World Rugby Player of the Year and Hurricanes wing Savea, 24, a try scoring machine, having crossed for 30 tries in 33 Test matches.

Tew said the contracts did not include provisions for long overseas deals, increasingly popular with modern players.

"Even though they are still relatively young, they are now very experienced rugby players," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says. " They are also very valuable team members who are both world-leading players."

New Zealand rugby is set to be drained of plenty of talent after this year's World Cup, with Colin Slade, Charles Piutau, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu and Daniel Carter all heading overseas.

Jerome Kaino and Steven Luatua have already resigned with the New Zealand Rugby Union.

Retallick says he wanted to continue learning from the best coaches in the game.

"I am only young and still have plenty to learn about the game," he says. "There is a lot I want to achieve and I firmly believe that New Zealand is the best place for me to grow my game and accomplish my goals."

Savea says it was an easy decision to make.

"There are still a lot of things I want to achieve in New Zealand rugby and I love playing for both the Hurricanes and the All Blacks, love the jerseys, want to continue to grow as a player and help both teams succeed and add to the legacy."

He will make a decision about whether he will commit to sevens ahead of the Rio Olympics in due course.

He can steam-roll opponents and the All Black winger can also sing a damn good tune. Source: 1 NEWS



Kiwi-born England hooker Dylan Hartley charged over 'headbutt'

Northampton and England hooker Dylan Hartley will face a disciplinary panel tonight after being charged with headbutting an opponent.

Hartley, 29, was cited after an incident involving Jamie George during Saracens' 29-24 victory in Sunday's Premiership semi-final.

England coach Stuart Lancaster has previously warned New Zealand-born Hartley, who has been banned five times, over his discipline, the BBC reports.

He is likely to miss at least the World Cup warm-up games if found guilty.

The entry point for the offence is four weeks and disciplinary regulations state any ban must include matches.

That would mean Hartley - who has missed 50 weeks of his career through suspensions for offences ranging from gouging and biting to abusing a referee - would be sidelined for England's three fixtures in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Northampton and England hooker Dylan Hartley will face a disciplinary panel tonight after being charged with headbutting an opponent. Source: 1 NEWS