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Cruden to turn to injured Carter

Aaron Cruden says he will "pick the brains" of New Zealand's absent superstar Dan Carter as the All Blacks prepare to tackle World Cup final opponents France.

Cruden, who was called into the All Blacks squad earlier this month after fly-half Carter suffered a tournament-ending groin injury, has made an impressive fist of things, starring in Sunday's emphatic semi-final triumph against Australia.

"Dan is always floating around the hotel and he has been really positive, always smiling and laughing with the boys," Cruden said. "He sent me a text before the semi-final wishing me all the best. And I will definitely be going to him and just asking him what he thinks about certain things this week and picking his brains so I can be as well prepared as I can, come kick-off time on Sunday."

The spotlight will be on Cruden and company like never before, with the All Blacks expected to see off a French side that has already lost twice in the competition and were fortunate to beat 14-man Wales by a point.

Cruden added: "It is really important that you build throughout the week, but that you are not over-thinking about the game and you really find time for that balance.

"I would like to think it's just the beginning of another week, just going through and doing the normal things for me.

"It is about making sure I am really clear on my role throughout the week and just building so that when it comes to kick-off time I am ready to go."


From Belfast Telegraph