Carter will put team first against England

PA Sport
Dan Carter says he won't take chances over his fitness
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Dan Carter says he won't take chances over his fitness

Dan Carter has ruled out gambling on his fitness for Saturday's showdown between New Zealand and England.

Carter missed last weekend's 33-10 rout of Wales in Cardiff because of an Achilles/calf injury, but is confident he will feature among the XV named at Thursday's team announcement. Twickenham is the climax to the All Blacks' tour and even though Carter's season is about to end, he will not take any risks.

"I want to play and there's a break after this but I'm not going to do anything silly. If I'm not right to play then I won't," he said.

"I want to put the team first and if I'm limping around to just get another cap and not benefiting the team, then I won't play. I'll be smart."

Carter's ongoing brilliance continues to ensure his status as the sport's finest fly-half - and probably its greatest player - is unchallenged.

The 30-year-old old will win his 94th cap if he plays on Saturday, but injury is beginning to interrupt his career.

Once the final whistle sounds at Twickenham, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw begins a six-month sabbatical designed to increase his longevity in the game and Carter may follow suit in the future.

"The injuries are causing frustration more than concern. Believe it or not my body feels in pretty good nick," Carter said.

"They're just little niggling injuries, little tears or tightness. I'm getting on a bit now! Because I've had a few significant injuries - an Achilles rupture and groin - sometimes you over-compensate.

"Most of my niggling injuries have been on my right side, whereas the major ones are on my left."

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