THERE IS a possibility that Dan Carter may play second five for the All Blacks if his troublesome groin fails to come right.
Carter has played two games at first five, against the Lions and Bulls, since returning from the sick-bay in round five against the Cheetahs, but the rest of his playing time has been in the No 12 jersey as he looks to shake of the ailment which ended his Rugby World Cup campaign last year.
He has kicked goals once, with Tom Taylor performing those duties in recent weeks.
Hansen, answering fans’ questions on a video released by the New Zealand Rugby Union yesterday, agrees that pivot was Carter's best position, but didn't rule out a sideways shift.
“DC, in my mind, is the best first five in world rugby,” he says.
“Right now, though, he is coming back from a groin injury which is limiting his kicking at the moment so, wisely, the Crusaders are playing him at 12.
“When he comes into our camp, if he's able to kick goals, then he'll certainly be starting at 10. But through necessity, from time to time he may also have to play 12, depending on what we have on the bench and how that groin is.”
If he doesn’t kick goals and is moved to second five, it means Aaron Cruden will likely be the starting No 10 against Ireland in June.
Out-of-form Blues halfback Piri Weepu could benefit from Carter’s non-kicking if he is, as Hansen hinted last week, included in the All Blacks’ 30-man squad named on June 3.« Back to Articles
This weekend throws up another set of games which could go either way.
Which player was unlucky not to make the Wallabies’ preliminary squad for the British and Irish Lions series?