Boys get chance to train with the best

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Even after a training session with the world's best first-five, Reporoa's Josh Cane still thinks he's better suited as a No8.

All Blacks superstar Daniel Carter held an exclusive training session with three lucky ball boys at Taupo-nui-a-Tai College yesterday afternoon.

The boys - Josh, 10, Flynn Fierro, 11, and Logan Karauria, 12 - were treated to a close-up display of Carter's kicking skills, followed by a training session with the rugby star.

"Seeing the best kicker in the world was my favourite part," Josh said after travelling from Reporoa for the training session.

"He taught us how to concentrate properly when you are at the kicking tee."

When asked if he would try to follow in Carter's footsteps, Josh explained he was better suited in the forwards, like his cousin and All Black, Sam Cane.

Carter, who was on holiday in Taupo and visiting his mother-in-law, said he enjoyed involving young players with his kicking practice.

"I'm in Taupo and I don't really have anyone to return my kicks, and it's not much fun by yourself," Carter said. "I asked on Twitter for some helpers and got a crazy response. It got a bit bigger than what I thought it would be."

He had about 50 children keen, which he dwindled down to three by getting them to post pictures of themselves and say why they should be chosen.

Carter said the training session lasted about 90 minutes and he covered all kinds of skills with the boys, such as place kicking, punting, drop kicks and passing.

"They were good but I think I wore them out a bit [during the training]."

The boys were also given a signed ball and a pair of boots from Adidas, which had jumped on board to support Carter's training session.

Logan, who travelled from Tauranga, said his dad had signed him up on Twitter and he was "really excited" when he came home on Tuesday to find out he was going to join in the training session. "My favourite part was probably picking up a few tips on the goal kicking."

Only a handful of supporters were at the kicking practice, thanks to it being kept a secret by the boys.

Carter will remain in Taupo until Sunday, before heading back to Auckland.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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