Dan Carter (Getty Images)
Cardiff - New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter is
expecting France to play out of their skin in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final
in Cardiff on Saturday.
Carter and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw
are the only survivors from the team stunned 20-18 by the French in the 2007
World Cup last-eight clash at the Millennium Stadium.
"They love playing the All Blacks in
big matches and I know they will perform out their skin. It's about us turning
up," Carter told reporters.
"It didn't really matter who we
played. The main focus for us was to reach the quarter-final and finish on top of
the pool. We did that and we knew potentially we would come up against Ireland
There has been no discussion in the New
Zealand camp about revenge.
"It's not something we have talked
about, it's more for the public and the press," Carter said.
"It's a new team and I think there are
only three players left in this team from that team. We are not looking in the
"It is not daunting us. It's just an
exciting challenge at a stadium where we love to play."
New Zealand have beaten France in their
last eight meetings, with the last French win coming in 2009 in Dunedin.
"We have played so much rugby since
then and the French will probably say the same," Carter said.
"It was eight years ago and we have
moved on from there with a new team who have been through a lot together. It's
all about looking forward.
"But they are a dangerous side and
these are the challenges we love, so the guys will be up for it."
France eased through their first three
games in the tournament before producing a lacklustre performance to lose 24-9
"The thing is they are very
unpredictable," Carter said.
"Form and momentum doesn't count for
much with the French. They can be poor one week and awesome the next."
New Zealand will try to enjoy the occasion.
"They are going to be put under a lot
of pressure so I think the key to that is embracing it," Carter said.
"We need to use the challenge as
something that really excites us. In these games it's all about who copes best
with the pressure."
France spluttered through the 2011 World
Cup in New Zealand before giving the All Blacks an almighty scare in the final
in Auckland, which the hosts won 8-7.
"That's one of their strengths. They
can just flick a switch and turn it on," Carter said.