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The man behind the legend: Dan Carter, the perfect All Black.

One of the greatest of all times. An All Black, and World Rugby legend. Dan Carter left the black jersey of New Zealand, with his number 10 at the back, at the highest. In his 112 appearances for the international side, Carter made history and wrote with golden letters his name in one of the best remembered chapters in the history of the oval. 

Foto: Anuar Gómez.

Heading the list of the top scorers in international test matches with 1.598 points, the All Black rounded off his illustrious career with the 2015 World Cup win. Nine Tri-Nations, three Super Rugby titles, two World Cup titles, TOP 14 winner or being named the best player of the year on three occasions, are just some of the honors in Carter’s curriculum.

The perfect number 10, an exemplary All Black. Representing the values of the black jersey on international and club stages, Carter’s competitive attitude and figure went beyond the sport. 

At present, a year after he laced up the boots for the last time in professional rugby, the passion for the game of the fly-half still gets him on the move. His last stop, the Classic All Blacks game in Madrid at the Wanda Stadium. Living the sport from a new perspective, Carter explained that: “I have a lot of good memories in Spain but I arrived in Madrid too late to play. The boys had been training hard for this game but I wasn’t able to play”, and claimed: “ I want to say I’m too old, but there are players who are older than me playing. I was happy to run the water bottles out for the team and just be in Madrid helping the team”. “To be honest, my playing days are behind me, I’m happily retired. I love the sport, I played professionally for 18 years and I was happy to finish when I did. Now I enjoy just watching the games”, states Dan closing the door to a possible comeback.

A wonderful atmosphere in one of the biggest rugby events ever seen in Spain. After the 10 point reduction that collapsed the World Cup Qualification dream for the XV of the lion, the All Blacks visit was the best reward for those players that not so long ago celebrated the newly frustrated qualification for a World Cup. “I really feel sorry for the players, it’s been a difficult couple of weeks for them but to have a special moment like this, to play in front of so many of their fans in a beautiful stadium like the Wanda Stadium is a pretty special souvenir for the players, a pretty emotional time for them. It was amazing to be part of it”, Carter said.

France 2023

A year ahead of the World Cup, the countdown for the international tests is on the go. The final step before the tournament, the last chance for the candidates to the ‘throne’ of the title defender South Africa to polish the team and tactics. When questioned about his view on the competition, Carter points out that: “ It’s an important year for New Zealand, they will be working on trying to give the best team playing, they build a lot of combinations, it’s going to be an exciting World Cup”, and he states: “So many teams could easily win it, I’d say there are no favorites at this stage. Ireland and France are looking good, the springboks… It’s a really good competition. This is an important moment some months before the World Cup starts”. 

Living the present, but with the spotlight on the recent news that links South Africa with the northern hemisphere competition of the VI Nations, the All black explains that: “I wouldn’t think about it until it happens. I know the rivalry between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, and even Argentina is really historical and a special one, so whatever happens we will see but the springboks would be sadly missed if they stop playing against the All Blacks on a number of occasions around the year. I’m sure they would miss it too”. 

Only time can say what France 2023 will bring, and what chapter will be next in Carter’s new life. Surely, there are many new adventures to come and from Up and Under Spain we will be following his next steps.

Anuar Gómez.

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