Pressure not a problem for Carter
September 4, 2011
Dan Carter is expecting the All Blacks to end New Zealand's 24-year wait for World Cup glory © Getty Images
All Blacks ace Dan Carter insists that the weight of expectancy within their homeland ahead of the commencement of the World Cup is a burden that he and his team-mates are only too happy to bear.
The Kiwis were the victors the last time the tournament was played in New Zealand but that was all the way back in 1987 and they have picked up the label of 'chokers' over the course of the past 24 years after repeatedly failing to justify their status as the number one ranked side in the world on the biggest stage of all.
Given that they have home advantage once more, the All Blacks are under enormous pressure to deliver this time around. The fear is that they will 'bottle it' once more but Carter insists that they will embrace their role as favourites.
"Every time you put on that All Black jersey there is always pressures and expectation from the people here in New Zealand," the fly-half said.
"Having something so special as the rugby World Cup here in New Zealand does add to the pressure and expectation and the fact we haven't won for so long adds to that but if anything the guys are more excited than worried about that."
Carter also revealed that the players are currently just enjoying the fact that they can finally focus fully on the task at hand after a lengthy build-up.
"There has been a real sense of excitement since returning into camp," the Crusaders No.10 said. "Obviously we have got the Tri-Nations out of the way and the Super Rugby competition because I'm sure during those competitions at the back of a lot of guys minds was the World Cup.
"So to have that behind us now and concentrating solely on this World Cup is really exciting and to see all the support we have had around the country has been fantastic. That really lifts the guys."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra