Carter steps up

Mils Muliana says Dan Carter has been a calming influence on the New Zealand squad.

Carter recently returned to the squad after an ankle injury and Muliaina says his contribution extends beyond his prodigious talent.

‘Dan’s too good a player to come back and just sit there and listen to everyone else. He has certainly led the way,” Muliaina told rugbyheaven.co.nz.

‘Dan got up and gave his views and how we could address the game and what we can do this week. It was just a calming influence really … he just came in and lifted the boys up and said he believed in us and that’s what we wanted to hear.

‘It’s always good for guys that have been sitting on the outside of the environment to pick up the things that aren’t quite going right and then come in and say it how it is.’

Carter may have been a calming influence but, upon gathering, coach Graham Henry lambasted his squad for their poor performances in South Africa. Muliaina says it’s had a galvanising effect.

‘It was deserved too. It was brutally honest and the guys appreciate that. We know we haven’t played well and the things we haven’t done well,’ he said.

‘When you have meetings like that you come away feeling a lot better. It just clears the air and the guys come away and get on with the business.’