Ian Foster has welcomed back Dan Carter to the international setup, as many of his former teammates set out to compete in yet another semi-final. The mighty All Blacks look to expand on their three World Cups as they first take on Argentina in their quest to reach the final.
The All Black record points holder, Carter, has been spending time around the current squad – a move that head coach Ian Foster has been incredibly positive about.
“Really informal yesterday. He touched base with a few players, but it’s about having him there” he said.
“We brought a number of them in before the tournament and we’ve been privileged enough to have some of them around during the tournament. The team love it and I love it as they’ve got a rich history of loving this jersey and what the jersey stands for.
“We have got a great way of transferring that on to this current group. Often it’s not done with words, sometimes it’s just about being there.”
There has been a huge amount of pressure and negativity surrounding the All Blacks in recent times, so for the current crop of players having the likes of Dan Carter around them can certainly provide the reassurance needed. They weren’t able to get too close though…
“We couldn’t get too close to Dan as he had a nice cream jacket on which meant none of us could hug him as we were all dirty. He was pretty protective about getting that dirty too so we kept our distance, but it was great having him in.”
Foster was keen to express the uncertainty surrounding knockout rugby:
“There are two teams in the semi-final. Anyone can win. That’s the first mindset both teams have.
“We are massively respectful of Argentina. We know that they have had a great tournament. We don’t live in the past in terms of past results. Rugby World Cup tournaments are really about the present, it’s about the best team on the night.
“If you go into a World Cup semi-final with any expectation that the past is going to happen again, you have got problems.
“We are just excited about being there ourselves. Been really impressed with Argentina, how they’ve carried their campaign. It was a great victory against Wales where they showed their tenacity. We know they’ve got that as we play them regularly and they’ve been difficult opponents. So there will be no surprises.”
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