Wales v New Zealand, Millennium Stadium, November 7
Carter on course to start
November 5, 2009
Dan Carter has been gently reintroduced to training © Getty Images
New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter is on course to face Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday despite sitting out the majority of All Blacks' training at Cardiff Arms Park on Thursday as he recovers from a haematoma.
Carter slotted in to the backline for some set moves and also worked on his goal-kicking, but it was Waikato pivot Stephen Donald who led most of the session. Nevertheless, Carter is sore but confident ahead of Saturday.
"You've just got to have the belief that you can do out there and do it and I'm confident I can," he said. "I'll see how I pull up tomorrow but there's still a couple of days to get it right and I've got to keep improving. If I'm out there I want to get out there and get stuck in. I don't want to be holding back because of a slight niggle. I'll be doing everything I can to get amongst it."
He will face off against British & Irish Lions playmaker Stephen Jones if fit and maintained that the final say on his availability would come from him after consultation with the medical staff. Wales are looking to end a 20-Test losing run against the All Blacks and Carter admitted that comments from Wales coach Warren Gatland had been noted by certain players.
"We've had a tough year but we're really developing. When you hear comments like that it does get the blood going and guys can get pretty fired up," he said. "We've had a couple of good performances this year and we want to put our name back on the world stage and there's no better way than playing a strong Welsh side and putting in a good performance.
"They're an extremely skilful side, they've got some exciting backs, their back three are all great runners and their midfield are extremely strong and they'll look to those guys to set their game-plan up. It will be similar to last year the way they came out extremely physical and fired up. We really have to match that and get our game going."