Richie McCaw and Dan Carter were sought out by the Namibia players for selfies in the All Blacks changing room immediately after their closer-than-expected World Cup pool victory.

McCaw, booed at Wembley but cheered to the rafters by an Olympic Stadium crowd mainly made up of neutrals, a good smattering of All Blacks fans and a smaller number of Namibian supporters, entered the match off the reserves bench and was apparently a popular figure in his shed, along with Carter, who didn't play.

Thousands turned out at London's Canary Wharf at the AIG fan zone to see All Blacks captain Richie McCaw at the AIG fan zone.

It was the first time the two nations have played each other, and, while the 20th-ranked underdogs refused to be overawed on the field, the same sentiment wasn't applied afterwards.

Colin Slade said the All Blacks invited their opponents into their changing room as a gesture of friendship and respect after the 58-14 victory and they liked it so much they were reluctant to leave.

Colin Slade was more than happy to welcome the Namibian team into the All Blacks dressing room post-match but a slight hamstring strain led to a frustrating day on the field. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Colin Slade was more than happy to welcome the Namibian team into the All Blacks dressing room post-match but a slight hamstring strain led to a frustrating day on the field. Photo / Brett Phibbs

"It was really cool. They're a great bunch of guys. They were really excited, they were all lining up to get photos with Richie and Dan," Slade said. "For guys like that I guess it was a massive moment for them and you can feed off that. We had the whole team in the changing room and to be honest they didn't want to leave they were enjoying it so much.

"It was great to have them in there, they were really proud of the performance and rightly so. Just having them in the changing room just brought it back to rugby and what this World Cup is about and that's enjoying each others' company off the field but obviously battling it out.

"Once the game is finished, [it's about] having a beer and a getting a few selfies with the big dogs."

All Blacks Asst coach Ian Foster gives his frank assessment of the AB's play and attitude in the match against Namibia. When the game got slow he says the All Blacks lost their form.

Slade, who began the match at fullback, swapped with Beauden Barrett and went to first-five after the break. However, he lasted only five minutes due to a tight hamstring and was replaced by Ben Smith on the orders of assistant coach Ian Foster.

Slade said: "I had just got into first-five there ... that was frustrating, but it's nothing serious."

Foster, sitting beside him at the All Blacks' London hotel a day after the match, replied: "You can tell by the look that he still hasn't forgiven me, but he was probably running too fast at fullback I think."

As the All Blacks prepare to name stronger teams for the next pool games against Georgia in Cardiff on Saturday NZT, and Tonga a week later in Newcastle, the management of players such as Slade - on the cusp of selection but probably reliant on an injury - becomes more important.

It is likely that Dan Carter will start at No10 at the Millennium Stadium, with Ben Smith at fullback.


Foster said: "Clearly there are guys who are good enough to play who won't play. How do we manage that? Through honest conversations and expectations that people continue working hard. It's one of the tough parts of the job but we just have to keep being tight and working together and who knows when the next opportunity is going to come to anybody."

Foster said a citing commissioner was responsible for the citing of Argentina lock Mariano Galarzo for the alleged eye gouging of Brodie Retallick, rather than All Blacks management.

"I don't think we were really aware of it after the game so it was a little surprise. That's what the citing commissioners are there for," he said.

By Patrick McKendry in London