New Zealand flyhalf Daniel Carter is expected to return to the match day squad for their clash with Scotland on Saturday as he continues to work his way back from a broken leg.
Carter was the highest profile water boy in world rugby last Saturday when the All Blacks beat England 24-21 at Twickenham. The 32-year-old missed out on a place in the playing squad, ostensibly because coach Steve Hansen felt he had not played enough rugby.
Carter has barely played this year after taking a six-month sabbatical and breaking his leg in the Super Rugby final in August.
He came off the bench for 30 minutes against the United States on Nov. 1 and assistant All Blacks coach Ian Foster said he would now get more playing time in their final two matches against Scotland on Saturday and Wales on Nov. 22. "We are keen for Dan to get significant game time on this tour," Foster told Fairfax Media NZ in Edinburgh. "Whether he's starting or comes off the bench, he's likely to be there in some form." In Carter's absence, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett have both stepped into the pivotal flyhalf role and proved their worth at international level.
However, neither have shown they can take control of a game in the same way Carter can, and last week they missed five shots at goal between them, something that could be crucial at next year's World Cup.
The All Blacks name their side on Thursday for the match against Scotland, who are now coached by New Zealander Vern Cotter. The Scots surprised many with a running 41-31 victory over Argentina last Saturday. "It's one of Vern's big things, he wants the boys to get in position to take players on one-on-one and show everybody what we can do," hooker Ross Ford told the Scotland Rugby Union website. "We want to play at a pace that makes it hard to defend and puts us in a good position to attack. "It's great to get those opportunities in the game. We are opening those spaces for everybody."