McCaw hails 'great' Carter

Sat, 16 Nov 2013 20:25
You will go down as one of the greats of world rugby

Richie McCaw hailed Dan Carter as "one of the greats" after presenting the star flyhalf with a special silver cap to mark his 100th Test appearance.

Carter reached the landmark when he took the field for the world champions' eventual 30-22 win over England at Twickenham on Saturday, but went off injured just 26 minutes into the game.

"Having him in the team certainly makes your job really easy," McCaw said of the playmaker while he conducted a post-match presentation ceremony in front of the bulk of a crowd of nearly 82 000, including Carter's father, Neville.

"You will go down as one of the greats of world rugby," McCaw said of Carter, the Test game's world-record points-scorer.

Carter, who made his debut against Wales in 2003, became the fifth All Black to make 100 Test appearances, joining McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock - who all played on Saturday - and Mils Muliaina.

However, his recent career has seen him miss several matches through injury, including New Zealand's 2011 World Cup final win over France in Auckland.

And he could now be ruled out of next week's Test against Ireland in Dublin, where the All Blacks will bid to become the first international side in the professional era to enjoy a perfect calendar year as they aim for a 14th straight win in their final match of 2013.

"He's hurt his Achilles (tendon)," said New Zealand coach Steve Hansen. "It's the other one, not the one he damaged years ago.

"It's been rumbling for a while but it's not ruptured, I don't think.

"It's disappointing for him again, he'd had a wretched time but he made a major contribution when he was on."

McCaw, who has spent much of his career alongside Carter for both the Crusaders and New Zealand, added: "He's obviously very proud to play 100 Tests and would have loved to have been out there for 80 minutes but he's got that milestone and got a bit of a smile on his face.

"His contribution has been phenomenal. I've played alongside him for a lot of those Tests. The calm head he has, it makes my job a lot easier," openside flank McCaw explained.

"We take for granted how good he is, we expect great things every time and he's one of the reasons the All Blacks have had so much success in recent years."