Dan Carter admits he doubted at times after 2011 whether he would get the chance to play at a fourth Rugby World Cup.
The all-time leading Test points scorer produced one of his best displays in recent memory during the heavy 41-13 win over Australia last weekend.
Carter has endured a rollercoaster ride in his three previous World Cups, having been knocked out in the semi-finals in 2003 and quarter-finals in 2007, before injury ruled him out of the knockout stages in 2011 when New Zealand won the tournament for the first time in 23 years.
The incentive of getting one more go at becoming a world champion helped Carter to sign a new contract, and he feels in good shape before heading to England.
"That was one of the motivating reasons for signing a four-year deal immediately after the 2011 World Cup," Carter told Stuff.
"I wanted another crack. There were times through those four years I questioned whether I'd be here or not, but the body is good and it's only just around the corner now. I want to grab this last opportunity.
"I never thought I'd be here playing in a fourth World Cup. I'm very fortunate to have such a long career.
"Obviously I've made my decision about what I'm doing after this year and not play in New Zealand anymore so I want to make the most of this one and succeed."
Carter revealed that build-up towards the Rugby World Cup has distracted him somewhat from the fact that he has played his last Test in New Zealand for the All Blacks.
Racing 92 will be Carter's new club after the tournament concludes and the long-time Crusaders back said that he had been moved by the scenes at Eden Park after New Zealand's win.
"This World Cup coming up has been distracting the fact that I've played my last game at home but I remember after the final whistle it was such an awesome feeling and I remember thinking it was never going to happen again, playing here in New Zealand. That sunk in a little bit and I didn't want that feeling to end.
"I loved being out on the field when Steve (Tew) presented Richie with the jersey and then when he spoke. Just looking around at the people that had hung around … I couldn't believe it.
"No-one had gone home … maybe a few Australians, but it was amazing to see. It was such a sign of respect.
"I was looking around thinking 'I won't be experiencing this anymore' which was pretty sad but it will all sink in a lot more once I finish playing for the All Blacks."