New Zealand receive pep talk from two-time World Cup winner Dan Carter

New Zealand receive pep talk from two-time World Cup winner Dan Carter as All Blacks seek to avoid another semi-final upset against Argentina

  • New Zealand are heavy favourites to reach the final when they face Argentina
  • The All Blacks were stunned by England in the last four at the 2019 World Cup 
  • All Blacks legend Dan Carter has been in his team’s camp ahead of Friday’s clash

New Zealand coach Ian Foster insisted his team have learned from their 2019 semi-final defeat by England as they prepare for a last-four clash with Argentina with the help of Dan Carter.

The All Blacks have reached the business end of the World Cup for the fourth straight tournament although they were on the wrong end of a big upset in Japan.

England shocked the world by beating the southern hemisphere giants to make the final four years ago.

New Zealand are once again heavy favourites to reach the 2023 final when they face the Pumas on Friday night.

‘We don’t live in the past in terms of results. World Cups are really about the present and the best team on the night,’ said Foster.

New Zealand are heavy favourites to reach the final when they face Argentina on Friday night

Ian Foster’s All Blacks have reached a fourth successive semi-final in the Rugby World Cup

New Zealand saw off the challenge of the favourites to continue Ireland’s quarter-final curse

‘If you go into a World Cup semi-final with any expectation the past is going to happen again, you have got problems. The talk about 2019 we covered off in a small amount of time.

‘It is not lingering in our mind. Most of the lessons we got out of 2019 have been taken on board.’

Foster’s side produced a sensational display to beat Ireland – who were then the world’s No 1 side – in the quarter-finals with captain Sam Cane, Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea outstanding performers.

‘It’s a final – definitely a final. The concept of “no tomorrow” from the last game is exactly the same for this one,’ said Foster, who will leave his role after the tournament.

In the build-up to this World Cup, the All Blacks have had regular visits from star former players including Carter, Richie McCaw and Conrad Smith among others.

The idea is for them to cast their eye over Foster’s current set-up and pass on any wisdom as part of a ‘legacy group’ made up of those who have represented New Zealand with distinction.

Foster revealed ex-fly-half Carter – a World Cup winner in 2011 and 2015 – had been in his team’s camp ahead of the Argentina game.

‘He (Carter) touched base with a few players,’ Foster said. ‘The team and I love it as they (ex-players) have got a rich history of loving this jersey and knowing what the jersey stands for.

‘We couldn’t get too close to Dan as he had a nice cream jacket on which meant none of us could hug him as we were all dirty. He was pretty protective so we kept our distance!

‘But it was great having him in.’

Argentina are a shock semi-final presence. Michael Cheika’s Pumas were awful in their tournament-opening defeat by England but also caused a quarter-final surprise by knocking out Wales.

Michael Cheika’s Argentina are a shock presence in the last-four after surprising Wales

All Blacks legend Dan Carter has been in his team’s camp ahead of the Argentina game

They are significant underdogs but did beat New Zealand as recently as last year.

Wet weather is forecast for the game which could have an impact although New Zealand’s handling and accuracy under pressure against Ireland was phenomenal.

Argentina captain and Leicester hooker Julian Montoya said: ‘As soon as you get on the field you believe you can win. We beat New Zealand – it confirms we can beat anyone.

‘I have full confidence in our team and in all of our players. This the moment to play the best game of our lives and give everything.’


Argentina: Mallia; Boffelli, Cinti, Chocobares, M Carreras; S Carreras, Bertranou; Gallo, Montoya (capt), Gomez Kodela, Petti, Lavanini, Gonzalez, Kremer, Isa

Replacements: Creevy, Sclavi, Bello, Alemanno, Bruni, Bazan Velez, Sanchez, Moroni

New Zealand: B Barrett; Jordan, Ioane, J Barrett, Telea; Mo’unga, Smith; De Groot, Taylor, Lomax, Whitelock, S Barrett, Frizell, Cane (capt), Savea

Replacements: Taukei’aho, Williams, Newell, Retallick, Papalii, Christie, McKenzie, Lienert-Brown.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)

Kick-off: 8pm (Stade de France, Paris)


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