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Carter's honest admission on England v New Zealand

SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks great Dan Carter believes England have it in them to move beyond a safety-first style of tournament rugby during an upcoming tour of New Zealand.

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England face the All Blacks in Dunedin on July 6 and in Auckland a week later, with Steve Borthwick’s men looking for a first victory over New Zealand in New Zealand since 2003, when the head coach was an unused replacement in a 15-13 win in Wellington – a success that came shortly before England’s World Cup triumph in Australia.

The two Tests will be New Zealand’s first internationals under new head coach Scott Robertson, who succeeded Ian Foster after winning seven Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” two-time World Cup winner Carter told Britain’s PA news agency at the launch of in London on Thursday of a new charity to support retired rugby players.

“It’s a new coaching group in New Zealand so there’s a lot of anticipation.”

The 42-year-old added: “We’ve lost a lot of experienced players and obviously with the success Scott Robertson had at Super Rugby level, everyone’s wondering if he can take that success on to the international stage up against an England side that will really want to come down here and make a bit of a statement up against a new-look All Blacks side.”

England defied many pre-tournament predictions by reaching the semifinals of last year’s World Cup in France, losing by just a point to South Africa who then defeated arch-rivals New Zealand by the same narrow margin in the final.

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“I thought they [England] played good tournament rugby to get as far as they did through the World Cup,” said Carter.

“There was a lot of risk-free rugby, they’re looking to expand and grow that and they’ve definitely got the talent there.”

‘Void’

Carter is one of 10 current and former rugby union stars, including South Africa’s dual World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi, who have launched the Global Rugby Players Foundation to support retired players as they come to terms with life off the field.

“I knew exactly what my purpose was in life for close to 20 years, to be the best rugby player possible,” Carter said.

“That’s what was driving me every morning to get out of bed and when that finishes there is just that void there.

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“There might be the odd player that actually enjoys leaving the game and thrives, but for the group of friends and team-mates that I’ve talked to it has been quite the opposite and that’s the strength of this foundation…We’re here for everyone, whether they have physical or mental health problems.”

The new organisation has been launched while a group of over 300 former players, including England World Cup winners Steve Thompson and Phil Vickery, are taking legal action over brain injuries.

The players allege World Rugby, the Welsh Rugby Union and England’s Rugby Football Union failed to establish reasonable measures to protect their health and safety.

Injuries from head blows are said to have caused other disorders such as motor neurone disease, early onset dementia, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

 

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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