Hansen hails ‘special’ Carter

Date published: October 30 2015

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has heaped praise on Dan Carter, who is on the eve of his first Rugby World Cup final.

Despite being a two-time Player of the Year winner, a loss to France in 2007 and an untimely injury in 2011 has kept Carter out of rugby's showpiece finale.

Hansen revealed that even the mercurial Carter can take a knock in the confidence department, which adversely affected his form.

"He had a horrific run of injuries over a couple of seasons that took away his confidence," revealed Hansen. 

"Up until then he was relatively injury-free. If you are around long enough you are going to have a bit of adversity, and he's had two seasons of it prior to this year.

"It's the mark of the guy how he's come through that. A lot of people might have said 'enough's enough, I will chuck it in' but he stuck with it, and the big thing this season is he has had the ability to play game after game after game.

"It doesn't matter who you are, confidence is a massive thing in sport. When you start to play well it's like a snowball, and it gets bigger and bigger and all of a sudden it becomes an avalanche. When he's like that he's a special player."

Hansen's charges are setting out to do what no other team has done before, which is successfully defend the Webb Ellis Cup.