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Why Dan Carter expects All Blacks to ‘make a real statement’ before RWC

By Finn Morton
Dan Carter is an All Blacks legend and the world's top test points scorer of all time. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images).

Legendary playmaker Dan Carter, who knows a thing or two about winning Rugby World Cups, has shared some of his wisdom ahead of the All Blacks’ pursuit of glory in France later this year.

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Carter is widely considered one of the greatest rugby players in the history of the sport. The former All Black has two World Cup crowns to his name, and was named the world’s best player on three occasions.

It’s hard to argue with Carter’s rugby resume – the flyhalf was one of the all-time greats.

After starting the 2011 Rugby World Cup on home soil with the All Blacks, Carter was injured during training ahead of a pool match against Canada.

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But four years later, Carter made amends – finally getting his moment to start on the biggest stage in rugby union. The first five was clearly the All Blacks’ best player during their triumphant 2015 campaign.

Clearly, Carter knows what it takes to hoist the Webb Ellis Trophy.

But the 41-year-old is long retired. The current generation of New Zealand’s best rugby talent is just a couple of months away from their own shot at destiny.

Whether they succeed or fall short in France, history will be made.

The All Blacks begin their 2023 international season next weekend against Los Pumas in Mendoza. Carter stressed that they need to “make a real statement” in that opening Test.

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“They want to be able to obviously be growing going into the World Cup but they need to start and make a real statement right from day one – right from the very first match,” Carter told Newshub.

“They don’t have a long prep going into the Cup so they need to be firing on all cylinders on day one.

“That shortened prep means there will be a lot of hard work, preparation, time within the culture to make sure they can hit the ground running and just continue to grow from there.”

It’s been said time and time again, and with good reason, that this year’s Rugby World Cup promises to be the biggest and most competitive iteration of the famous tournament yet.

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While southern hemisphere sides New Zealand, South Africa and Australia have historically dominated the competition, there’s a genuine sense of belief that a northern side will reign supreme.

World No. 1 Ireland are looking to progress past the quarter-finals for the first time, while tournament favourites France will carry the hopes of a nation throughout their home World Cup.

But one team that isn’t being talked about as much as normal is the All Blacks.

New Zealand aren’t the favourites; some rugby fans wouldn’t have them in the top three.

But as Carter discussed, that doesn’t really matter.

“This is one of the most closely contested World Cups of all time,” Carter added.

“There are probably half a dozen teams that could go on to win this World Cup and there are probably 12 teams that could all beat those top half a dozen teams as well.

“Obviously the All Blacks won’t go in as favourites but I don’t think that really matters. Very rarely do the favourites win the Rugby World Cup anyway.

“That’ won’t change any of the planning going into this World Cup. They’ll have a really clear direction of how they want to play and grow their game throughout the World Cup and leave all of the external pressures out of the equation and focus on what they need to do as a team.”

The All Blacks open their 2023 international campaign against Argentina in Mendoza next weekend, before returning home to face rivals South Africa in Auckland.

Two matches against Eddie Jones’ Wallabies will follow before the All Blacks head to Europe for another titanic tussle with reigning Rugby World Cup champions South Africa.

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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FEATURE Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma
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