Dan Carter warns New Zealand to 'expect the unexpected'

Dan Carter believes New Zealand must "expect the unexpected" when they face France in Sunday's World Cup final.

The All Blacks superstar will keep a watching brief this weekend, as he has done since being ruled out of the tournament because of a groin injury three weeks ago.

And while Carter mirrors an expectant mood of the New Zealand nation, he also knows France are dangerous opponents - especially when they have been written off.

"France are our nemesis at World Cup time - we all know the past that we've had with the French," he said.

"They are such a dangerous side, especially when their backs are against the wall. Having a lot of doubters, that is when they step up, which they showed in 1999 and 2007 (against New Zealand).

"We have to expect the unexpected. The French are the best at doing something to surprise us, so the guys realise that we are in for a huge challenge."

Carter, meanwhile, has reflected on the emotions he has gone through since seeing his World Cup ambitions so cruelly destroyed by injury.

"I went through all sorts of emotions," he added.

"I was pretty gutted the first few days. I guess anger did creep in a little bit because I was just so gutted and didn't really want anything to do with the World Cup.

"And then it kind of hit me after five or six days that I realised the World Cup is here in my home country and I was going to make the most of it, like everyone else, and get to the games."

And Carter has been playing a role working with his squad replacement Aaron Cruden, who is set to start in the number 10 shirt against France.

"I continue to work pretty close with the nines and 10s, so my job as part of the team has just continued in that role," he said.

"I have been really impressed with Aaron. He's been involved with the team all season, he's just slotted in nicely and he is making the most of his opportunity, which is awesome."

Steve Hansen, meanwhile, has straight-batted speculation about his coaching future as New Zealand prepare for the final.

Former Wales coach Hansen, current assistant to All Blacks supremo Graham Henry, is among the favourites to succeed his boss when he steps down after the tournament.

But Hansen said today: "It's not even something I am thinking about at the moment.

"Four years ago we got knocked out in the quarter-final of a World Cup, and three coaches (Henry, Hansen and Wayne Smith) made a decision to try and re-get the job, and we did that.

"We were lucky enough to get reappointed, and last weekend we earned the right to turn up on Sunday at nine o'clock to try and win the thing.

"That is the only thing I am thinking about. I don't really care what happens after Sunday. All I am focusing on is trying to get a team ready to turn up to win.

"We are really excited, and there is no room for anything else at the moment.

"It's just a total focus on trying to get the team together to play really, really well because we know we're going to have to. The French are going to turn up and play well.

"Not too many times in your life do you get the opportunity for something special to happen.

"You are now not only doing it for yourself, you're doing it for all the people who have made sacrifices and for our country, so you've just got to make sure you get it right."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine