Time to move on: Carter
THEY say it helps to talk about it, but it was probably the last thing All Black Dan Carter felt like doing.
But the man they call the best player in world rugby hobbled into a packed press conference in Takapuna to face questions about his Rugby World Cup-ending injury.
The 85-test veteran tore an adductor longus tendon in his left groin when completing his fourth and last kick at goal during Saturday's "captain's run" training session.
Two days later and Carter was able to smile occasionally, but his voice quivered at times as he faced the media.
"Obviously it's pretty gut-wrenching ... just the randomness of the injury and for it to come out of the blue ... I'm constantly asking, 'Why did this happen?' And I just don't have the answer."
Carter said he lay in bed on Saturday night and reflected on "one of the craziest days of my life. To be named All Blacks captain ... have that taken away ... and then later to find out that my dream of being in the World Cup was over."
Questions from the floor were orderly at first given the large media contingent.
But as journalists began to talk over one another, it became clear Carter wasn't sitting in the Spencer on Byron hotel conference room to grieve. "Definitely," he said, when asked if the All Blacks could cope with the hysteria surrounding his injury.
"I encourage everyone to move on. I have, and I'm obviously pretty disappointed, but I'm now here to help the team and I think that's what everyone should [do], move on too."
Carter said that after suffering his injury, he sent a text to Colin Slade - the man now charged with filling the biggest boots in rugby - in recognition of the fact that it had drastically altered two careers.
"I just encouraged him to get on with it, because I feel sorry for him; he's getting a lot of talk comparing the two of us.
"But he's a great player and he deserves his spot, so I think it's now his opportunity to go out there and play."
Assistant All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who sat beside Carter throughout the 10 minute media conference, said the adversity would make the 29-year-old Carter stronger.
"One of the good things that might come out of it is he might play in the next World Cup because he's pretty hungry."
Carter, who still had a dazed look of disbelief about him as Hansen spoke, said he hadn't thought about the prospects of another cup.
"But I talked to [NZ Rugby Union chief executive] Steve Tew last night and he's pretty happy that he managed to get me to sign for another four years. So who knows."