Rugby World Cup 2011: All Black Dan Carter ruled out of tournament

Dan Carter shows the pain after suffering a groin injury in training
Carter shows the pain after suffering a groin injury in training

New Zealand's star fly-half Dan Carter has been ruled out of the rest of the Rugby World Cup with a groin injury.

The 29-year-old pulled up during kicking practice in final training in Wellington on Saturday.

He was due to lead the side in Sunday's Group A match against Canada, but All Black doctor Deb Robinson confirmed Carter's tournament was over.

"This was going to be his pinnacle and it's devastating for him," coach Graham Henry said.

"This was his scene, this World Cup in New Zealand, and it was going to be his big occasion. I feel very sad for him but he is the type of guy who will handle this. He has strength of character and I feel huge sympathy for him.

"He's not going to burst onto the finals and that's very sad. He's a key All Black, not only as as the person who navigates the side on the field but also off the field.

"We need to move on and play the cards we've got. The group is shattered with this news, but they are also a resilient group."

Robinson said Carter will travel to Auckland with the squad after the Canada match for further diagnosis, but it was not yet clear if he required surgery.

She added: "It has been confirmed he has a significant groin injury. He has torn the left adductor longus tendon completely."

Robinson said that Carter had "no history whatsoever of groin strains. It happened totally out of the blue", revealing that the scan had been "clean" apart from the present injury.

Carter will see a specialist early next week to determine the next course of treatment for him, with surgery a possibility.

Highlanders fly-half Aaron Cruden has been brought into the squad, as back-up to 23-year-old Colin Slade, the only other specialist number 10.

Scrum-half Piri Weepu can also play at fly-half and take on goalkicking duties.

Carter was due to lead the side against Canada after regular captain Richie McCaw withdrew with a "niggly" foot problem.

McCaw underwent pre-season surgery in February to insert a small screw into a bone in his foot that had a stress fracture and missed the first six weeks of the Super 15 season.

After his comeback, the flanker was then sidelined in late May after suffering from recurring pain in his foot.