It's not only Dan Carter who is hurting. The entire All Blacks squad are too and they are vowing to win the William Webb Ellis Trophy to make his World Cup dream a reality.

Loose forwards Kieran Read and Adam Thomson didn't exactly say 'We're doing it for Dan', a variation of the catch-cry taking hold throughout New Zealand, but they didn't need to be grilled too hard today before revealing the depth of feeling for the world's best first-five who has been ruled out of the tournament with a groin injury.

Read, Carter's Crusaders teammate, said: "We're hurt. Dan is a massive part of this squad. As a group we're feeling for him. It's really tough but what we've got to do is really move on from that. It's a great challenge and the strength of our squad is what is going to win us this World Cup and the whole team is going to have to put the effort in, starting this weekend because there's no tomorrow if we don't get it right.''

Thomson was also happy to share his feelings on Carter's injury ahead of the quarter-final against Argentina at Eden Park on Sunday night.


The Highlander was asked if he knew how Carter was feeling considering the injury problems he had faced in the past and said: "I don't think anything that I've been through compares to what Dan is facing - just the calibre of the man and the amount of work he's put in to this World Cup. It's his dream. It's something that he's worked on for a long time.

"I talked to him the other day and he's won this World Cup many times on his back yard. For him to go through that affects all of us and I'm sure we're going to dig even deeper and put in huge effort for him as well to get him across the line and make his dream come true even though he's not going to be out there.''

Colin Slade has now been thrust into the pivotal role and Read said nothing would change - the expectations would still be as high.

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne smith added of Carter's probable replacement in the No10 jersey: "We've been working with this group for over a month. Sladey's had some big games. He has been involved in a lot of trainings, he's got a good skill set and the other thing about him is that he's a brave kid physically - he's strong in his defensive channel. So, not too different to Daniel really.''

Read thought his World Cup dream was gone after injuring an ankle in the final Tri Nations match against Australia in Brisbane six weeks ago but intensive rehabilitation on the damaged joint allowed him to play his first game of the tournament in the big win over Canada on Sunday. He played 50 minutes before being replaced.

"I came through really well. I'm feeling really good.''

Read said he was confident of being available for the Argentina match but "I was confident last week and had that little mishap in training. I've just got to stay on top of it''.

Thomson also has an ankle injury and said he would test it in training in Auckland's North Shore this afternoon.


Of the All Blacks other injury concerns, assistant coach Wayne Smith said Cory Jane and Tony Woodcock had recovered well from head knocks - Woodcock's was suffered in an ugly collision with Canada's Adam Kleeberger.

Richard Kahui was bouncing back well from a hamstring injury which ruled him out of the Canada match, with Israel Dagg also doing well after a knock to his quadracep muscle.

Read added: "This week is going to be a huge test for us. We've seen how the Argentines pride themselves on their forward effort. We think that's where they will attack us. That's where their entire game comes from, up front. They're pretty smart with it as well. They are a team who gives away the least penalties.

"The boys can't wait to get involved in a game of this magnitude. It's going to be awesome getting back to Eden Park in front of a massive home crowd. I know that's going to add to the excitement.''