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Farrell inspired by Carter

England fly-half Owen Farrell continues to be inspired by the genius of Dan Carter, but refuses to be intimidated by his reputation.

The rival 10s will duel in Saturday's climax to the QBE Internationals at Twickenham, with Carter set to become the fifth New Zealand player to reach the 100-cap milestone.

The 31-year-old's All Blacks place is under genuine threat from Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett, but his enduring brilliance still captures Farrell's imagination.

"Obviously he's a world-class player and one of, if not the best, for a long time. I definitely try to take as much as I can out of what he does," Farrell said.

"There isn't much I don't admire about him. He's not bad at anything. He's world class.

"The impressive thing is that he's been doing it for a long time - there's been no drop-off.

"I respect him massively because of what he's done and who he is, but there's no point sitting back and being in awe of it.

"You've got to go out and perform yourself. You've got to get excited about it."

New Zealand are smarting from their 38-21 mauling at Twickenham last December - their only defeat since August 2011 - and are determined to avenge that result.

For England, facing the world's number one team is a chance to assess the true extent of their progress under head coach Stuart Lancaster, who has presided over a substantial run of nine wins in 10 matches.

"New Zealand are the benchmark and we want to get to where they are. They have been setting the standard for a long time. We have to make sure if we want to be up there we do the same," Farrell said.

"What happened against them last year is irrelevant. We have to make sure we are a team getting better.

"It's all about the performance. If that's right then the result will look after itself.

"We'll believe in ourselves on Saturday. All we did last year was believe in ourselves. I don't see why it would be any different this year.

"We've made massive strides in the matches against Australia and Argentina, albeit there have been some frustrating points as well."

New Zealand are the game's most clinical finishers, but Farrell insists there is more to their brilliance than the deadly precision of their attacking play.

"They kick the ball a lot more than people think, especially this year," the Saracens fly-half said.

"They get a lot of ball back from contesting it in the air and they are very good at reacting to that and catch teams napping. They are ready to go at all times."


From Belfast Telegraph