/ Rugby

Carter: Christchurch will inspire All Blacks

Updated: Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 16:51

Dan Carter - All Blacks out-half
Dan Carter - All Blacks out-half

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter believes the earthquake which rocked Christchurch last month will act as a spur for the All Blacks to win this year's World Cup on home soil.

The quake, which hit on 22 February and measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale, devastated Carter's home city and killed more than 180 people.

World Cup organisers have already been forced to move matches away from the city's AMI Stadium, where Carter was training with Super 15 side the Crusaders at the time of the quake, due to the significant damage to the ground.

A proposal for New Zealand to wear a red fern - instead of the traditional silver - on the all black jersey in a symbolic gesture has also garnered significant support.

Carter described the scenes in the aftermath of the tragedy as 'crazy disturbing' but is hopeful he can help bring some joy to his homeland, and his local Cantabrians, by lifting the Webb Ellis trophy in October.

'That all does add an extra significance to the World Cup to an extent,' he told The Daily Telegraph.

'To win it would bring a lot of joy to people who've known tough times recently. There's motivation to have a big year.

'Cantabrians are rugby fanatics and for us not to have any World Cup games is just more depressing news for the people here. Obviously, it's been done for the right safety reasons but it's really sad.'

Carter is in London this week for the Crusaders' rescheduled match against South African side the Sharks, which will be played at Twickenham in a first for Super Rugby, and recalled the moment that the quake struck.

'I was going to take a shower when, suddenly, there was violent shaking and we just had to get out there as fast as we could,' he said.

'Outside, we realised it had been a bad one and that we had to get home quick but it was only when I jumped into the car that I realised the extent of the devastation.

'It's something I'll never forget; the shock on people's faces, all the traffic lights out, water gushing out in the streets, cracks in the road, traffic jams.

'It was a pretty scary time.'

Carter believes England will be the northern hemisphere nation to pose the biggest threat to the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup title ambitions.

'I definitely think the form team won the Six Nations,' Carter said.

'I think they've had a fantastic 12-18 months with what they achieved over in Australia last year and then in November they played good rugby and continued to build from there.

'They played some fantastic footy (in the Six Nations) and deserved to win. It stands them in good stead for the World Cup later in the year.

'Going on the last 12 months, I'd say it would be England (who will be the most dangerous European nation).

'The French are always very unpredictable and you can never rule them out out, as I know first hand. But England have built a great squad, have real depth there, have some exciting talent.'