New Zealand Rugby
Highlanders wait on Slade update
ESPNscrum Staff
April 15, 2011
Highlanders fly-half Colin Slade exploits some space, Highlanders v Cheetahs, Super Rugby, Carisbrook, Dunedin, New Zealand, April 8, 2011
Colin Slade only returned to action for the Highlanders on April 1 after suffering a dislocated jaw © Getty Images

The Highlanders are anxiously awaiting an injury update on Colin Slade after the fly-half suffered a nasty blow to the face during the Super Rugby match against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.

Slade, who is the leading challenger to Dan Carter as the All Blacks playmaker, collided with Rebels flanker Michael Lipman in the fourth minute of their 40-18 victory at AAMI Park, leaving the fly-half bloodied and dazed.

The 23-year-old was taken to hospital for scans amid fears of further damage to his jaw, which he dislocated during pre-season and only returned from against the Brumbies on April 1.

The All Black selectors will also be eager to discover the extent of the fly-half's injury. Slade came on as a replacement to win his first cap for the All Blacks against Australia during the Tri Nations last summer and, as other candidates have faltered recently, he has emerged as a leading contender to provide cover for Carter.

Young fly-half Robert Robinson replaced Slade during the game in Melbourne and the 21-year-old New Zealand Maori could be in line to start for the Highlanders against the Crusaders next weekend.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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