- Dan Carter chats to RFU.com about England's threat at the Rugby World Cup
- New Zealand No.10 chats about preparations for a ‘special’ tournament
Photo: Getty Images
New Zealand star Dan Carter considers England to be the main northern hemisphere threat at the Rugby World Cup later this year after taking a keen interest in the recent RBS 6 Nations.
The All Blacks No.10, who wowed the Twickenham crowd with a scintillating display of running rugby and a 22-point haul for the Crusaders last Sunday, believes the progress made by England in the last 18 months has marked them out as a team to watch.
Speaking exclusively to RFU.com, the 29-year-old said: "I watched the 6 Nations and was very impressed with the rugby that was played and definitely the champions England.
"They were the form side of the tournament and played some fantastic football on occasions and were deserved winners.
"The progress that England have made over the last 18 months has put them in good stead for the world cup. They showed what they were capable of in Australia last year and then in the November series they played extremely well and got some good wins.
"They took that form into the 6 Nations so I think they’ll be a real threat come world cup time."
Home world cup is so special – Carter
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Carter has joined the pantheon of All Black greats in his eight years as an international, scoring 1, 188 Test points at an average of 15 per game, the highest ratio of those who have scored more than 500 points.
But the 79-cap star is yet to win a world cup and believes the chance to do so in his home country this autumn will represent the pinnacle of his career.
Carter, whose influence on the side is borne out by the fact that New Zealand have only lost once in 24 Tests when he has scored a try, says the All Blacks are settled as they begin the build up to the September tournament.
He added: "We’ve got a shortened Tri-Nations so there’ll be a few questions answered in terms of the squad and who’ll be selected. It’s a very exciting time ahead, some guys are trying to put their hands up at the moment.
"We’ve had a reasonably settled side for the last few years as All Blacks so I don’t think there’ll be a lot of changes. We’ve been a pretty formidable side who’ve played some good rugby so we’re just hoping to continue our progress to the world cup.
"It would be a fairytale to win a world cup. I’ve been unsuccessful on a couple of occasions but to have the world cup at home is something so special – it means so much more and is so exciting."