Slade shocked by Kiwi call-up
September 4, 2009
Canterbury utility back Colin Slade was stunned by his All Blacks call-up © Getty Images
Colin Slade has admitted that he was shocked by his addition to the New Zealand squad for the remainder of the Tri-Nations.
The Canterbury back, who can play at fly-half, full-back or on the wing, was invited to an All Blacks training camp in Christchurch on Wednesday and it was confirmed less than 24 hours later that he, along with lock Tom Donnelly and flanker Adam Thomson, would be remaining with the squad for the upcoming clashes with South Africa and Australia.
Given that the Kiwis have been beset by injury problems, Henry's decision to draft in a player as versatile as Slade is not that surprising. However, Slade insists that he had not been expecting the call.
"I actually got a message from (All Blacks manager) Darren Shand saying that they wanted me to come down (for the one-day training camp). Obviously they've got a few injuries but they weren't in my positions so I wasn't that hopeful," Slade told The Press newspaper.
"To say that I was surprised would definitely be true. They picked me on the back of my last few performances at 15 and have seen what I can potentially offer. But I'll play wherever I can, if that's my way into the team. Hopefully I can get in there and then I'll be able to specialise down the track.
"I learnt a lot (on Wednesday). They're a class outfit, not just in terms of the skills that you see on TV, but off the field as well in the planning and preparation stuff."