Four World Cups later Dan Carter finally gets the chance to confirm his status as the best playmaker of all time.
If there are any doubts about those claims, Carter could put them to bed once and for all in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup final against the Wallabies. This is the final page of the 33-year-old’s glittering CV; his final act before retiring from test rugby to France.
Fifteen years ago Carter played his first World Cup, four months after making his test debut. He’s been forced to wait all that time to reach this podium. Standing in second spot looking up at the Wallabies would be a hollow way to exit.
Carter, of course, has a World Cup winner’s medal from 2011. But after a groin injury robbed him of the chance to guide the All Blacks through the knockout stages at home, it doesn’t have the same shine as this year’s one could.
“Unfortunately he got injured but he still played a big part in that team winning the tournament,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.
“Will he feel better if he gets to play in the final? Of course he will. If we’re good enough to win it he’ll feel better about that too because it’s different being in it than watching, but there’s still a lot of work for us to do.”
Carter’s three previous World Cups weren’t kind from a personal perspective and he revealed earlier this year there were times he thought his body wouldn’t allow him another crack at the Webb Ellis Cup.
He has his shot this Saturday, will he and the All Blacks take it?
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