Tuesday, September 20, 2011

World Cup Player Spotlight


Today I'm putting the spotlight on someone from a different team for a change... Dan Carter of the All Blacks Team:

Daniel William "Dan" Carter (born 5 March 1982(1982-03-05) in Southbridge, 45 km southwest of Christchurch) is a New Zealand professional Rugby union player.

He is currently the highest points scorer in test match rugby and is regarded as one of rugby's greatest ever fly-halves.

In 2003, Carter made his All Blacks debut at age 21 in Hamilton, New Zealand, scoring 20 points against Wales. He was then capped against France in Christchurch, which the All Blacks won 31–23. He was also a substitute in a match against Australia (the Wallabies) in Sydney, which the All Blacks won 50–21. Carter was then included in New Zealand's 2003 Rugby World Cup squad, where he first gained serious international attention. Carter spent much of the latter stages of the tournament on the bench leaving New Zealand without a specialist goal-kicker. However, he did play in the games against Italy in Melbourne, which the All Blacks won 70–7, and the wins over Canada and Tonga. Although he has been an All Black since 2003 he only secured a permanent position as the first five-eighth in the team during the 2004 tour to the United Kingdom and France displacing Carlos Spencer. He had been playing as a second five-eighths up until the end of the 2004 Tri-Nations. After Carter's performance in the second All Blacks Test against the British and Irish Lions in 2005, he was hailed as the next big thing in world rugby. He scored two tries, five penalties, and four conversions. He ended the match with 33 points, passing the previous All Blacks record of 18 points in a Lions Test (Carter's second-half total of 22 points by itself was sufficient to top this).

On 27 November 2010, after scoring a halfway penalty against Wales, Carter became the highest point scorer of all time, overtaking England's Jonny Wilkinson's previous record of 1,178 although Wilkinson took the record back on 26 February 2011 against France. Carter reclaimed the record on 30 July 2011 when he advanced to 1,204 points in the first tri-nations match of the 2011 series against South Africa. He has currently scored a total of 1,238 test points (29 tries, 221 conversions, 214 penalties, and 3 drop goals) in 84 tests, with an average of 15.0 points a game (the highest average for players who have scored more than 500 Test points). Along with Richie McCaw Carter earns 750,000 NZD a year being the joint highest paid player in New Zealand. This high paying contract by the New Zealand Rugby Union is not subject to form or fitness as both players are regarded integral to the All Blacks 2011 Rugby World Cup plans. Carter has signed a contract to re-sign with the NZRU until 2015.

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