All Blacks player Dan Carter talks to us ahead of the Laureus Awards
23 March 2014
Dan Carter on the All Blacks being nominated for the Laureus Team of the Year award alongside so many other outstanding teams.
“It makes you really proud to be part of the All Blacks team and to know that our successful season has been recognised alongside the world’s best sporting teams. It’s pretty humbling when you see us ranked alongside those other teams. A lot of hard work went into our success and to be recognised, as a member of the All Blacks team, we really appreciate that.”
Dan Carter on the All Blacks historic 2013 unbeaten season - the first international team to go through the year unbeaten since the game went professional.
“We are all very proud of what we achieved in 2013. We knew we were creating something pretty special during the season, with the environment and the success that we were having. But now the season is over, and you get the chance to reflect, you feel even prouder. Not only for achieving the perfect season and doing something that had never been done in the professional era, but just the way we went about it. There were situations we were put in which most teams may not have been able to get themselves out of. We were really tested. We had wins where we had to come from behind and win in the last second and we had other performances where we just dominated from the first whistle. The season was full of drama and intensity. We were tested against some quality opposition and we came out of it every time on the right side of the ledger which you always want to do when you pull on the All Blacks jersey.”
Dan Carter on playing in a team full of talented individuals.
“That’s the beauty of team sport – you never put individuals ahead of the team and that’s something that we talk about as All Blacks – you always put the team first and we have got a great squad that always does that. If you are all working together you are going to get the results that you are after. We are fortunate that we have got a squad of world-class players. But the way we work together towards the same goals helps you get the success that we demand of the team.”
Dan Carter on his favourite All Blacks highlights of 2013.
“For me, personally, playing my 100th Test match (against England in the second to last Test of the year) was a huge achievement. The All Blacks mean a lot to me. It’s why I play the game – to represent the black jersey. So that was a huge highlight for me. There were a couple of others: I wasn’t involved in the game in South Africa (the All Blacks second Test against South Africa, in Johannesburg, which the All Blacks won 38-27) but it’s pretty special to get a win at Ellis Park, it’s not an easy thing to do, and it was such an amazing game and was a great achievement for the All Blacks. And obviously the last game. Taking it right down to the wire against Ireland. Our goal was to have the perfect season and we were really tested. To score a try in overtime, to create history and to do what no other team had done since rugby went professional. That was a real highlight in what was an amazing season.”
Dan Carter’s thoughts on how international teams are looking in 2014 and looking ahead to Rugby World Cup in 2015.
“Obviously, 2015 is going to be a huge year for international rugby, having the Rugby World Cup just around the corner. We have played a lot of international opponents over the last couple of years since we won the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and teams are improving and are getting better every time they represent their country. So while we may have been the top side in the last couple of years, the gap is closing and that’s great. 2015 is going to be an amazing tournament because there are going to be a lot of teams at the top of their game and as a player that just adds to your motivation. You want to keep reaching new heights, keep raising the bar and that’s exactly what we want to do. We want to keep getting better every time we get the chance to play and if we keep improving we will give ourselves the best chance we possibly can in 2015.”
Dan Carter on the values that rugby has taught him.
“When it comes to values and personal development, I put a huge emphasis on sport and rugby in particular, being the game that I have played since I was six years old. It taught you a lot about teamwork and how to work with other people, whether it’s other players, opponents or referees. The values that rugby holds are also great. You are at war with your opponents when we are out on the field and you want to win. But one thing I’ve learnt is that once the final whistle goes, you are friends again and that’s one of thing about rugby which I think is great. Some of the best friends I had growing up were guys I played against. There a lot of things that I have learnt from sport and rugby which I am very grateful for and I’m so happy to be involved in what is the wonderful sport of rugby.”