Carter: Savea to stay red hot

2014-11-06 07:28
Julian Savea (AFP)

London - New Zealand outside-half Dan Carter expects outstanding wing Julian Savea to maintain his "red hot" form when the world champion All Blacks face England in their opening November international at Twickenham.

Savea has a stunning strike-rate of 29 tries in his 30 Tests, with a superb return of eight in four matches against England.

The 24-year-old has been described as even better than the remarkable Jonah Lonu, the star turn of the 1995 World Cup, by New Zealand coach Steve Hansen and Carter too was in no doubt about Savea's worth to the All Blacks.

"Julian has really grown. He's such a huge threat and a great player to have on your side," Carter told Sky Sports News on Wednesday.

"He's strong, he's powerful, he's fast, he can break tackles and he loves scoring tries.

"He has a great strike rate against England and every time he pulls on the All Blacks jersey. He's in pretty red hot form and is a great player to play alongside."

Savea himself played down comparisons with Lomu by saying: "I guess everyone has their own opinions.

"For Steve to say that was an honour (for me) to be compared to (Lomu).

"To me personally, no one is better than Jonah. He was my idol when I was growing up.

"I had his haircut. He changed the game back in his era and inspired a lot of kids as well. No one is going to be better than Jonah, he's one in a million."

Savea's direct opponent at Twickenham is set to be Fiji-born Semesa Rokoduguni, the serving British Army soldier who is set to make his England debut on the opposite wing.

"Every player who pulls on the England jersey performs out of their skin, even more so in the early stages of their career," Carter said.

"For Rokoduguni to come into an environment like this.....he's got nothing to lose and will make the most of the opportunity."

The 32-year-old Carter is widely regarded as the outstanding fly-half of his generation but injuries have repeatedly interrupted his career, notably during New Zealand's march to the World Cup title on home soil three years ago where a groin problem ended his involvement at the group stage.

Recently he has been sidelined with a broken leg and a calf injury and while Saturday's 74-6 rout of the United States in Chicago marked Carter's 101st cap, Hansen suggested afterwards he might not start against England.

But having already made seven starts at Twickenham, the venue for next year's World Cup final, Carter knows how much it means to New Zealand to beat England at "headquarters".

"Every time we play at Twickenham it's a huge match and this weekend is no different. It's a great stadium and a great place to play," Carter said.

"The All Blacks love playing there and it's never an easy match. It's going to be a huge occasion and we'll be up against a strong England side."

Read more on:    all blacks  |  julian savea  |  rugby

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