Dan Carter named alongside Gareth Edwards in rugby ‘Dream Team’
2 July, 2020, 12:30 pm
Dan Carter is the third All Blacks great named in former British and Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan’s ‘Dream Team’.
The Blues recruit – who will play for his Canterbury club Southbridge on Saturday – is named in the halves alongside Wales and Lions legend Gareth Edwards – the man McGeechan rates as the greatest rugby player of all-time.
Carter joins All Blacks wings Jonah Lomu and John Kirwan in McGeechan’s Dream Team, which is being named in a daily series in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
McGeechan wrote that Carter “really was the complete 10’’.
“His defence was immaculate, he could break himself, he could bring others in to play, his kicking from hand and from tee was incredibly accurate. He also changed the way the game was played with his kicking from his own 22m and his kicking to compete. The greatest of the modern era in my opinion.’’
McGeechan rated Carter ahead of Barry John, Phil Bennett, Michael Lynagh, Gregor Townsend, Jonny Wilkinson, Johnny Sexton and Beauden Barrett, noting “who knows how New Zealand might have fared [at the 2019 Rugby World Cup] in Japan had he been kept at 10’’.
Edwards, 72, played 53 tests for Wales between 1967 and 1978 and was a pivotal reason for the Lions’ series wins in New Zealand (1971) and South Africa (1974).
McGeechan said of Edwards: “My favourite scrum-half of all time happens to be my favourite player of all time. Gareth Edwards was and always will be the master. The Greatest.’’
In anointing Edwards, McGeechan noted the Welshman’s try for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in Cardiff in 1973 “to complete one of the greatest counter-attacks ever put together’’.
Edwards got McGeechan’s nod over South Africa’s 1995 World Cup winning halfback Joost van der Westhuizen – noted for “two or three huge tackles on Jonah Lomu’’ in the tournament final – England’s 2003 World Cup winner Matt Dawson, All Blacks Justin Marshall and Aaron Smith, Wallabies Nick Farr-Jones and George Gregan, Argentina’s Agustin Pichot and Ireland’s Conor Murray.
All Blacks Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Tana Umaga and Sonny Bill Williams were mentioned in dispatches as McGeechan considered his centres option, but he ultimately plumped for ex-Ireland and Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll and France’s 111-cap legend Philippe Sella.