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Donald and Gear into ABs, Slade, Mils out

Published: 3:05PM Monday October 10, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

Much-maligned first five-eighth Stephen Donald has been called into the All Blacks squad to replace the injured Colin Slade.

The All Blacks confirmed the decision, which was reported by tvnz.co.nz earlier this afternoon, at a press conference in Auckland.

Slade injured his groin in the All Blacks' 33-10 quarter-final win over Argentina last night, joining Daniel Carter in being ruled out of the squad.

"There's a partial tear in his left adductor. Just with the timing of what that is, there would not be enough time for him to rehabilitate to take any further part in the tournament," All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson told reporters.

That has left coach Graham Henry little option but to call on 21-Test veteran Stephen Donald at the eleventh hour ahead of Sunday's semi-final against the Wallabies.

"We've lost the first two blokes chosen and that's a setback, that's the reality of it," Henry said.

"We have a group of players who have been on standby. we didn't announce that group and we won't announce that.

"We've got less players here than overseas - have we got the depth? We'll find out next week."

Meanwhile Mils Muliaina, who brought up his 100th Test last night has picked up a shoulder injury and been replaced in the squad by Hosea Gear.

"Hosea was very close to getting in the squad initially... very very close, it was very tight," he said.

Donald and Gear would join the team in Auckland tomorrow.

"Obviously Colin is very disappointed. Very disappointed to be leaving the group at this stage of the tournament or any stage.

"They can't stay with the team... the replacements join the team tomorrow morning. The reason for that is so we can say goodbye to the fellas properly."

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