Carter to shift to 12?

2013-05-28 10:18
Dan Carter (AFP)
Auckland - Speculation is mounting in the All Blacks camp ahead of next week’s internationals as to who will don the coveted No 10 jersey.

New Zealand Herald's website
reports that arguably the most gifted player to wear that jumper in recent years, Dan Carter, is the favourite to be selected as the All Blacks’ playmaker, but the way his Super Rugby rivals for his position in the national side have been performing, it may allow coach, Steve Hansen to think otherwise.

The Chiefs currently head the New Zealand Conference in Super Rugby, thanks greatly to the influence of Aaron Cruden. Cruden was the flyhalf who guided the All Blacks to Rugby World Cup glory in 2011 after injury forced both Carter and Colin Slade, another contender to the berth, out of the tournament.

With the incumbent All Blacks’ centre pairing of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith both leaving New Zealand shores for Japan, it may leave a void, which only Carter may fill adequately enough, leaving the door open for Cruden and co. to seize a rare opportunity of playing at flyhalf for New Zealand, with a fit Carter in the squad.

Carter started his career at inside centre for both the Crusaders and All Blacks during the Andrew Mehrtens/Carlos Spencer era and assistant coach, Ian Foster, thinks it’s not far out of the question to shift Carter back to the position, but insists it’s not of immediate concern.

"Yes, it's possible but we are reasonably happy with our midfield, to be honest. I think we've got some really good options in there. I know there's been a lot of talk about how we're struggling there but it's shaping up pretty good."

However, Foster has admitted that Cruden and even Hurricanes pivot, Beauden Barrett, have staked a convincing claim to usurp Carter.

"There's actually three 10s here. Beaudie, you've got to put him in the mix too, he's been playing well recently.

"This time of year when you get those head-to-head battles, it's always interesting the comparisons, but I think all three of them have played very good rugby in the last month and we're happy with it."

The All Blacks tackle France in a three-Test series beginning on June 8.


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