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Dan Carter out of Japan game with back strain

Updated: September 13, 2011, 21:55

HAMILTON, New Zealand(AP) A niggling back strain has forced New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter to drop out of the World Cup match against Japan on Friday.

Carter hurt his back last Friday in the opening 41-10 win over Tonga in Auckland, and All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said he pulled up sore in training on Wednesday.

Carter, test rugby's leading point-scorer, was replaced in the run-on side by Colin Slade, who last started for New Zealand in the 18-5 Tri-Nations loss to South Africa in Port Elizabeth last month.

"The key thing is that Daniel had been recovering well from a stiff lower back,'' Robinson said. "We have made the decision not to risk him (against Japan) and we will have him back fully training next week in preparation for the France test.''

Jimmy Cowan was brought into the reserves, with fellow scrumhalf Piri Weepu designated as cover for flyhalf.

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