Record against Irish ramps up pressure: Carter
Dan Carter has enjoyed countless unforgettable days throughout his illustrious career but the last few weeks aren't likely to ever hold a fond place in his memory bank.
Adjusting to life as a former All Black brings about its own challenges, particularly when you retire having just lifted the World Cup for the second time, but watching the show go on without a hiccup surely makes the process tougher.
But Carter is at ease with his new life in Paris with Racing 92 or at least he was until his world was rocked by a drugs scandal.
The 34-year-old has since been cleared of breaching anti-doping rules but for some the mud will have stuck.
On a rare and timely visit to Dublin, Ireland's clash against New Zealand in Chicago tomorrow would ordinarily have been the first order of the day but with increasing doubts hanging over rugby and the use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), it is left to Carter to again explain why he failed a drugs test.
"It was just a local injection that you do not need a TUE for," he stressed. "I'm not sure about TUEs because I've never had one or needed one so I don't understand that process. It was as simple as that within the WADA regulations. Unfortunately, some details got leaked and a story was made of it. I obviously had done nothing wrong and it has been proven now.
"I always knew that I had done nothing wrong and had my name alongside words like 'positive' and 'steroids', which was completely inaccurate. It was disappointing those kind of speculations came out."
While the 24-22 result in 2013 was a close scare for the All Blacks, that painful defeat will remain embedded in Irish history until they finally seal that elusive first win over them.
"It is probably still giving a few Irish people nightmares," Carter smiled. "We're very lucky we have an amazing history with the success we've had against the Irish teams and every time there's a game there's always that question, is that history going to change?
"It's not something we talk about, to be honest. At the same time the players know the history and know that's the case and even when I was playing I didn't want to be part of the first team to be beaten by Ireland so it's at the back of your mind and that brings a little bit of extra pressure.
"It's the kind of pressure the players and the All Blacks really feed on and use as motivation to make sure you do everything you