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Who’s the next Carter?

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iol spt nov13 Carter

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Jacques van der Westhuizen wonders in how many more Tests the rugby world is going to be privileged to see Dan Carter play.Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

I wonder for how many more years and how many Tests the rugby world is going to be privileged to see Dan Carter at play. I suspect it’s going to be some time yet and I also wonder how he’ll be remembered when he does eventually call it a day.

Will the New Zealand flyhalf go down as the best No 10 to have played the game? Will he go down as the best All Black ever?

After another superb showing for New Zealand against Scotland on Sunday, Carter is again on everyone’s lips in the northern hemisphere.

It seems they really only talk about him every November and every four years when the World Cup comes around.

Anyway, he was big news in all of Scotland’s papers yesterday, and deservedly so, but let’s be honest about one thing: flyhalves always tend to generate a lot of interest and, more than anyone else in a rugby team, seem to hog the headlines.

Now if Carter is without question New Zealand’s first-choice No 10, then I wonder if Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is anywhere near knowing who his first-choice flyhalf is. I doubt he’s any closer than he was at the start of his tenure to knowing who he’s going to plump for in the future. Does it matter?

I think we all know he’s a fan of Morne Steyn and why shouldn’t he be? He knows the Bulls man inside out and he also knows just what a match-winner Steyn can be on his day. And he plays the kind of game Meyer wants him to play.

But the Bok boss isn’t blind to the fact that Steyn might have a few shortcomings and there may well be better options waiting in the wings… Johan Goosen, Elton Jantjies and Pat Lambie.

Considering Goosen was rushed straight into the Bok starting team after recovering from injury earlier this season suggests he could be Meyer’s man. After all, Goosen does seem to be the total package – he can kick and run and he’s explosive too. And let’s not forget his ability to kick goals from well beyond the halfway line.

Jantjies has been in the picture, but hasn’t been given a start yet. Lambie has, and he did enough against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday to indicate he could well be the man to do the job in future.

Come on, let’s be honest… who’d want to be Meyer? He’s got four great flyhalves to pick from, each of whom brings something different to the team, but who is the best man to be backed in 2013?

And who, I wonder, between Goosen, Jantjies and Lambie – of the three young guns – will be talked about in the same fashion as Carter in 10 years’ time?


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