We love playing France – Carter

Date published: October 12 2015

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New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter has admitted playing either France or Ireland did not matter as they prepare to take on les Bleus in Cardiff on Saturday.

The All Blacks topped Pool C after beating Argentina to top spot and watched as France lost to the Irish, meaning the former would face New Zealand in a repeat of the 2007 quarter-final in the same venue.

Carter revealed that they weren't cheering on any particular side in the Cardiff match, with this weekend's game also at the Millennium Stadium.

"It didn't really matter who we played. The main focus for us was to reach the quarter-final and finish on top of the pool. We did that and we knew potentially we would come up against Ireland and France, so it didn't really matter. But we have got France and it's going to be exciting," he said.

"I didn't play many games in France but I think I have played against them enough to know they are a quality side and the thing is they are very unpredictable.

"Form and momentum doesn't count for much with the French. They can be poor one week and awesome the next. They will be disappointed with the way they played against Ireland and that is a dangerous sign for us.

"They love playing the All Blacks in big matches and I know they will perform out their skin. It's about us turning up.

"We love playing them too. It doesn't bother us who we play because the Irish and French can beat anyone on their day."

He added: "We are going to be put under a lot of pressure so I think the key to that is embracing it. We need to use the challenge as something that really excites us. In these games it's all about who copes best with the pressure.

"We will try to put ourselves under pressure situations in training so when it comes to the game, we know how to work things out."

As expected a question from the media brought up 2007 and New Zealand's shock loss to France at the same venue, with Carter playing down the memory.

"It's not something we have talked about; it's more for the public and the press. It's a new team and I think there are only three players left in this team from that team. We are not looking in the past. We are more excited about this challenge than anything else," he said.

"It is not daunting us. It's just an exciting challenge at a stadium where we love to play and it's great.

"We have played so much rugby since then and the French will probably say the same. It was eight years ago and we have moved on from there with a new team who have been through a lot together. It's all about looking forward.

"But they are a dangerous side and these are the challenges we love, so the guys will be up for it."

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