Carter: I'm no miracle worker
August 18, 2009
Dan Carter is in a relaxed mood ahead of New Zealand's must-win clash with Australia © Getty Images
Dan Carter is being hailed by New Zealand fans as something of a returning messiah ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations clash with Australia, but the fit-again fly-half is warning people not to expect any miracles from him in Sydney.
Carter has only just returned to competitive action after a six-month spell on the sidelines with an Achilles injury sustained during his sabbatical in France earlier this year. However, after impressing for Canterbury in recent weeks, Carter has been thrown straight into the starting line-up for this weekend's must-win clash with the Wallabies.
The peerless no.10 is under immense pressure to reinvigorate a New Zealand side which has looked desperately out of sorts thus far this season but he is taking it all in his stride, insisting that there is an onus on each and every player clad in black to deliver on Saturday.
"There's always going to be the external expectation but I know one man's not going to change a team. We've got to change a lot of things to get the success back into the side," he said. "All I can worry about is doing my job well... I'm not going to go out there and try and pull off miracles.
"I'm just wanting to enjoy the week. I'm really enjoying being back in the environment. Obviously not playing for so long, anxiety can tend to kick in but we have a great bunch of guys and I've got a bit of experience so I know what works for myself."
Carter, though, is quick to concede that it might take him a short while to get back up to speed given that he missed the start of the Test season because of his Achilles problem.
"It was a pretty tough injury and I haven't really had one like that before. It was a new experience to get away from the game," he said.
"I enjoyed spending some time away but equally had some new drive to rehab well and come back strong. I think I've done that with some reasonably satisfying performances for Canterbury. But I realise it's a big step up playing international level."
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton