Carter focused on World Cup final, not his legacy

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On the eve of the biggest game, and the last, of his All Blacks career, flyhalf Dan Carter says he is purely focused on not letting his team mates down.

Carter focused on World Cup final, not his legacy

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LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 30, 2015) (REUTERS – FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND FLYHALF, DAN CARTER, AND NEW ZEALAND HEAD COACH, STEVEN HANSEN, SAYING:

CARTER, WHEN ASKED WHETHER WORLD CUP FINAL WOULD DEFINE HIS CAREER, SAYING: “No, I don’t think so. Obviously, it is a huge occasion after some of the disappointments I have had in previous world cups. But it is not really something that I have been thinking about – the past, or what may happen after the final whistle. It has purely been just focusing on what I can do for this team. It is not about me. It is not about the guys playing their last game. It is about this All Blacks side, this 2015 All Blacks side, that have been working extremely hard all year and my motivating factor is just wanting to go out there and play the best I possibly can for my team mates alongside me. That is the exciting thing. We have got a huge challenge tomorrow and it is these kind of challenges that this team loves so I just want to make sure I do my part to not let my team mates down.”

HANSEN, SAYING: “Can I just add to that. I don’t think a guy who has played over 100 test matches like Dan (Carter) has, his career is not defined by one game. I think he has already defined his career and it has been one of greatness. He has added to the All Black jersey in many, many ways and over many, many test matches. So, yes it is an important test match for him, and for everybody involved, but it certainly won’t define his career. I think that certainly has already been written in the history books.”

STORY: Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham marks a fitting end to some of the greatest rugby careers in recent memory, as many of the All Blacks stars, who will be facing rivals Australia, will be retiring at the end of the match.

One of those players will be flyhalf Dan Carter who, along with captain Richie McCaw, centres Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu and hooker Kevin Mealamu, will likely be bowing out of international rugby at the highest possible level come Saturday (October 31).

Carter, who made his All Blacks debut in 2003, has gone on to become the leading points scorer of all time, blitzing the New Zealand record by over 600 points.

Despite one of the most illustrious playing careers in the history of the game, Carter’s career has been tinged by injury and missed opportunities, chiefly being injured for New Zealand’s world cup success on home soil last time around in 2011.

Since then, Carter has overcome various injuries and has been back to his best, particularly in the scintillating thrashing of France in the quarter-final.

Despite this, there are some who say Carter’s career will be defined by the performance, and the result, on Saturday.

Carter himself was quick to dismiss this notion on Friday (October 30), saying he is focused solely on helping his side retain the Webb Ellis trophy.

“Obviously, it is a huge occasion after some of the disappointments I have had in previous world cups. But it is not really something I have been thinking about – the past, or what may happen after the final whistle. It has purely been focussing on what I can do for this team,” Carter said at a news conference on Friday.

“It is not about me. It is not about the guys playing their last game. It is about this All Blacks side, the 2015 All Blacks side, that have been working extremely hard all year and my motivating factor is just wanting to go out there and play the best I possibly can for my team mates alongside me.

“That is the exciting thing. We have got a huge challenge tomorrow and it is these kind of challenges that this team loves so I just want to do my part to not let my team mates down.”

The All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen was also quick to defend Carter’s record, praising his career and stressing that Carter had only enhanced the famous All Blacks no. 10 jersey.

“I don’t think a guy who has played over 100 test matches like Dan (Carter) has, his career is not defined by one game. I think he has already defined his career and it has been one of greatness,” said Hansen of his flyhalf.

“He has added to the All Black jersey in many, many ways and over many, many test matches. So, it is an important test match for him, and for everybody involved, but it certainly won’t define his career. I think that certainly has already been written in the history books.”

Carter, who will make his 112th New Zealand appearance on Saturday, has eclipsed all other previous records for his position and, according to Hansen, has changed how the flyhalf position is now played.

A capacity 82,000 fans will be at Twickenham on Saturday, hopeful of the promised expansive, exciting rugby.

Regardless, come approximately 1800GMT on Saturday, Carter, one of the greatest players of all time, could, finally, have his hands on the most important trophy of them all.

Tags : legacy, final, Focused, Carter

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