O'Driscoll insists Carter will be key to All Blacks at World Cup
23 December 2014 12:18pm
Dan Carter, Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden all played at fly-half in November
British & Irish Lions legend Brian O'Driscoll is adamant stopping Dan Carter from scoring will be key for any team hoping to wrestle the Rugby World Cup title off New Zealand.
The 32-year-old is bidding to play in the fourth successive World Cup of his career on British shores next year but faces stiff competition to wear the All Blacks No.10 jersey.
Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden were also called upon during New Zealand's perfect November Test campaign with Carter recovering from a broken leg to feature.
The All Blacks will head into the World Cup as favourites and O'Driscoll, a veteran of four Lions tours, believes the key to stopping their dominance is to keep Carter quiet on the pitch.
"If he's got the scoreboard ticking over, then I just can't see [New Zealand] being beaten," O'Driscoll told ESPN Scrum.
"If you can beat New Zealand, then you're probably going to win the World Cup. They're not even playing at their best this year, but they still have a Super Rugby campaign and a Rugby Championship to build towards the World Cup.
"I don't think the gym-monkey thing applies to them as much as it does over here. There is way more of a focus in New Zealand from an early age on skills.
"They do everything with a ball. They do all their fitness work with a ball and that's why they have better skill levels. That's where New Zealand have the balance. They have that physicality, but they are able to mix their game up."