Young players get kickstart from rugby star

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Dan Carter says he pushed (from left) Joshua Cane, 10, Logan Karauria, 12, and Flynn Fierro, 11, hard during the 90-minute session. Photo / Christine Cornege
Dan Carter says he pushed (from left) Joshua Cane, 10, Logan Karauria, 12, and Flynn Fierro, 11, hard during the 90-minute session. Photo / Christine Cornege

Even after a training session with the world's best first-five, Reporoa's Josh Cane thinks he's better suited as a number 8.

All Blacks superstar Daniel Carter held a training session with three young rugby players at Taupo-nui-a-Tai College yesterday.

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.

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

Asked if he would try to follow in Carter's footsteps, Josh - who travelled to the session from Reoroa - explained he was better in the forwards, like his cousin and All Black, Sam Cane. "Dad said I'm more of a number 8."

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

"I'm in Taupo and I don't have anyone to return my kicks, and it's not much fun by yourself," he said.

"I asked on Twitter for some helpers and got a crazy response. It got a bit bigger than I thought it would be."

He had about 50 children keen and he reduced the field 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.

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."

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