READER REPORT:

All Blacks don't need Dan Carter anymore

GREGORY COOMBES
Last updated 09:35 07/08/2014
Dan Carter
Getty
FULL TIME: He's been a great servant of NZ rugby but do the All Blacks need Dan Carter anymore?

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You ask whether injured All Black Dan Carter can bounce back from his latest injury setback. 

I think a more pertinent question is does he have to?

Of the last 17 tests the All Blacks have won, it is Aaron Cruden who has been at the helm in the No 10 jersey.

Carter last played in a winning Crusaders team in 2008 and he did not contribute when the All Blacks won the World Cup in 2011.

In short, I do not understand why he is seen as so important to the All Blacks anymore or, for that matter, talked about as a great. The facts say something else.

In regards to the general All Blacks selection policy, if New Zealand Rugby is worried about players going offshore, they need to reward those who give the most service.

Why, after a two-year absence, would we consider Jerome Kaino ahead of Liam Messam?

Messam has played more Super Rugby minutes than possibly any other forward in the last two years and has also been in a Chiefs team that won the title twice in the last three years.

He has been in the All Blacks team that has equalled the 17-match world record, and the Chiefs outplayed the Blues twice this year, where Kaino's presence paled in comparison to his.

But still the media, and ex-players such as Richard Loe, are touting Kaino as a sure starter in the No 6 jersey. Why?

This same question goes for Sonny Bill Williams as well.

There is no doubting that the guy is an incredible athlete, and the Chiefs will be looking forward to him coming back.

But the loyal players who stick around year after year could be forgiven for feeling a little put out.

My suggestion is that you need to play through at least one Super Rugby season before being considered for the much-coveted All Blacks jersey. You must play yourself into contention.

Barring injury, why would any coach change a team that has won 17 matches on the trot anyway?

The jersey is becoming less coveted, but the money offered in Europe is increasing in value.

The reason why the All Blacks are historically the greatest rugby team is because it is the team and not the individual that counts.


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