The All Blacks have drafted in legendary fly-half Dan Carter to calm any nerves among the faltering world champions ahead of this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup decider against arch-rivals Australia.
A shock 47-26 loss to the Wallabies has rattled the All Blacks, calling into question their strategy of fielding two playmakers in Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga.
Assistant coach Ian Foster said Carter joined the New Zealanders at training in Auckland on Tuesday to offer advice to Barrett and Mo’unga.
The 37-year-old, who retired from international rugby in 2015, had a stellar 112-Test career that included winning two World Cups and three World Rugby player of the year awards. “I’m actually keen to get him in to chat to our playmakers,” Foster told allblacks.com.
“He’s got a lot of World Cup experience and I just wanted to really have him around again to talk to the likes of Beaudy and Richie about what it’s like driving a team through a World Cup campaign where expectations are high. Who better to tell that story than him.”
Foster has talked up the need for discipline if New Zealand are to retain the Bledisloe Cup for a 17th year and defeat Australia at Eden Park, a venue where the Wallabies have not won since 1986.
Scott Barrett’s red card for a shoulder charge cost the All Blacks any chance of victory in Perth and saw the lock suspended for three weeks.
Despite that setback, former All Black Ian Jones called for fire and brimstone from the men in black in Auckland, saying they had to prove a point by muscling up to the Wallabies.
“They’ve got to physically go straight and knock these guys around and get into that zone,” Jones told Radio Sport.
“[Show them] this is the fortress, this is All Black rugby, this is how we’re going to beat these Wallabies up and just smack them around in that regard.”
The veteran of 79 Tests said New Zealand could not expect Eden Park’s intimidation factor to affect the fired-up Australians.
“They can’t just rely on this wonderful Eden Park factor, they’ll have to front up to themselves,” Jones said. — AFP