Despite being the All Blacks first campaign without him since his retirement, first-five great Dan Carter has revealed he enjoyed being a fan while watching his former side back in France.
Carter ended his international career following last year's Rugby World Cup, taking up a contract with French side Racing. Carter led the side to the French Top 14 title as well as the Heineken Cup final.
Carter, who is briefly in New Zealand before returning to Paris to begin his pre-season, said he was very impressed with what he saw when the All Blacks completed a 3-0 series whitewash over the Welsh last month.
It was the All Blacks first campaign without the likes of veterans Richie McCaw, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Carter who all ended their international careers following the World Cup victory over Australia.
"I was extremely impressed but it's what I expected. They're such a formidable outfit," Carter told TV One's Breakfast this morning.
"All the talk of the players leaving, they were an experienced enough group with the same coaching staff. I knew they were just going to continue from the success at the World Cup."
"All the young guys stepped up and I've become a huge fan now. I can sit back and watch them and have really enjoyed the style of play in June."
Carter also revealed he's getting the hang of the French language following his first full season in France.
"I do lessons twice a week. Only about a month ago I started to understand a little bit. The coin finally dropped, which was quite big.
Carter said his eldest son Marco starts school in September so will be able to order his meals for him.