England v New Zealand: Dan Carter's 100th cap motivates All Blacks, not revenge mission

The humbling turn of events played out for the men in black before a disbelieving Twickenham a year ago will play no part in their preparations

It is the game that dare not speak its name, at least in the corner of London colonised by the All Blacks this week. The humbling turn of events played out for the men in black before a disbelieving Twickenham a year ago, when the world's best team shipped 38 points to England, will play no part in New Zealand's preparations for Saturday's game but Kieran Read, the All Blacks' influential No 8, acknowledged that it will be sitting in the back of many of the players' minds.

At today's training session, last year's defeat – the All Blacks' sole loss since 2011 – was not mentioned and will remain untouched for the rest of the week. The Tuesday session traditionally sets the tone for the All Blacks' week and neither Steve Hansen nor any of the coaching staff allowed minds to be cast back a year.

"It can affect you if you start chasing tails," said Read. "To be honest [the thought of getting revenge] hasn't been used at all. There are enough people within the squad who were here last year who have it in the back of their mind.

"Certainly you don't like losing in a black jersey but a lot of things have changed in the last 12 months. It is a completely different team in a different place right now."

The team is named tomorrow and is expected to include Dan Carter for his 100th cap, although Aaron Cruden is pressing the great man for the No 10 shirt; New Zealand's performance improved when Cruden came on against France on Saturday.

Carter will become the fifth All Black to reach three figures and the landmark will, suggested Read, give his team-mates something else to spur them on. A modern-day All Black needs ample room in the back of that mind.

"You look at the man Dan is, he is someone who will put the team above anything," said Read. "But in the back of my mind certainly, if he's playing then you want to do well for him."

Read is sure to start, having become one of the most influential back-rowers in the world over the past year. He scored his 12th All Black try in Paris on Saturday as they made it a dozen wins from as many outings since Twickenham. They are two wins – they play Ireland next Saturday – from an unbeaten year, and also from a well-earned chance to put their feet up.

Next year, the New Zealand management want to keep their men on the field a while longer and add another fixture to the autumn schedule via a money-spinning game in the United States.

The All Blacks played in Japan ahead of this European tour and while the players did not object to that, there is a sense that a game in the USA, on top of their already demanding schedule in a sport where wear and tear is inevitable, may be a stopover too far for the players. In the same hotel in which the All Blacks are staying, the International Rugby Board met to discuss the calendar.

"They need to take into account the length of the seasons and make sure we are playing for the right reasons," said Read. "That's what we want to do, go out there and play good footy. You do that when you are fresh.

"There are commitments that we have to fulfil as a team with our sponsors. Probably the length of the Test [schedule] is spot on [at the moment]. It's weighing those up. It is a long season – you don't ever want to be looking at a holiday but tiredness can creep in."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003