Revealed: What Carter did at All Black training
Want to know how serious the All Blacks are about retaining the Bledisloe Cup?
The sight of retired great Dan Carter imparting his wisdom at training on Tuesday says plenty and might be enough to give Michael Cheika sleepless nights this week.
Carter’s appearance with his old team is unusual and comes three days after New Zealand were outclassed by the Wallabies in Perth, setting up the winner-take-all clash at Eden Park on Saturday.
It’s the same Carter who bestrode Trans-Tasman encounters throughout his 13-year career, finishing with arguably his most clinical performance of the lot.
His farewell Test was the 2015 World Cup Final at Twickenham, where supreme game management and 19 unerring points with the boot sunk the hopes of Cheika’s men.
The 37-year-old engaged most notably with five-eighth Richie Mo’unga and displaced fullback Beauden Barrett, the combination which has shown promise in two All Blacks Tests together but is yet to fully fire.
Assistant coach Ian Foster was sure the pair would benefit from Carter’s acumen.
“We had him in chatting to our playmakers. He’s got a lot of World Cup experience and just wanted to have him around to talk to the likes of Beaudy and Richie about what it’s like driving a team through a World Cup campaign where expectations are high.
“Who better to tell that story than him?”
📽️ How did Tuesday training go for the lads? Ardie Savea gives us an update on how the team is preparing in Auckland. #BACKBLACK
Posted by All Blacks on Monday, 12 August 2019
Foster smiled when reminded Carter had also dug New Zealand out of several Bledisloe Cup holes.
“That wasn’t in the plan when he came in but it might be helpful.”
Foster gave every indication Mo’unga would again wear No.10 and Barrett would be handed another crack at fullback this week.
Mo’unga, he said, was growing into the role while Barrett had surprised the coaches with his transition.
“It’s a pretty big success story that Beaudy can be one of the leading No.10s in the world and then go back and suddenly in the last two Tests, he’s probably been our best player on the park at 15,” Foster said.
“Looking at how many times they’re both touching the ball, it’s a positive.
“We’re not dampening one player to increase the playmaking ability of the other player.”