Carter wary of England threat
March 23, 2011
Dan Carter poses at Twickenham ahead of Super Rugby's first trip beyond the equator © Getty Images
All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter believes England were deserving Six Nations winners and will pose the biggest threat of those from north of the equator when the Rugby World Cup hits New Zealand.
As championship winners and Grand Slam nearly-men, England were perhaps an obvious choice for Carter, and a safe one since he was speaking in the country he praised ahead of the Crusaders' Super Rugby clash with the Sharks at Twickenham.
But despite the disruption the Christchurch earthquake has caused back home, Carter has found time to keep an eye on the Six Nations and he feels England had a "fantastic" tournament that has them ready to impress in the September-October showpiece..
In the last year, England have beaten Australia in Sydney and by a record margin at Twickenham, overcome Wales in Cardiff for the first time since 2003 and ended an eight-year title drought.
Carter knows how dangerous France can be - he is still haunted by the memory of New Zealand's shock quarter-final defeat to Les Bleus in 2007 - but he backed England to pose the biggest threat.
"I definitely think the form team won the Six Nations," Carter said. "I think they've had a fantastic 12-18 months with what they achieved over in Australia last year and then in November they played good rugby and continued to build from there.
"They played some fantastic footy (in the Six Nations) and deserved to win. It stands them in good stead for the World Cup later in the year. Going on the last 12 months, I'd say it would be England (who will be the most dangerous European nation).
"The French are always very unpredictable and you can never rule them out out, as I know first hand. But England have built a great squad, have real depth there, have some exciting talent."
Carter and his star-studded Crusaders team-mates have arrived in London for the first Super Rugby match ever to be played outside of the SANZAR countries. The star No. 10 admits to feeling helpless in the wake of the disaster but says rugby has given him and the people of Christchurch something positive to focus on.
"I have found the best way to do that is by doing what I do and that's playing rugby, giving people the chance to support their team again and take their mind off what's going on back home and put some smiles back on people's faces," he said.
"It's good to come over here and hopefully generate some money for people who are going through some tough times."
Twickenham have already sold 26,000 tickets in a week and they are aiming for a 55,000 crowd, which would be a record for a Super Rugby match.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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