For Dan Carter, match day doesn't change, no matter the occasion or the opposition.

The world's best No10, who will play at second-five for the Crusaders against the Waratahs at Sydney's Olympic Stadium tonight, sticks to a plan which has worked for him at this level for more than a decade.

With the match kicking off at 7.40pm in Sydney (9.40pm NZT), Carter will rely on a well-used routine in order to reach peak performance.

In a video on The Rugby Site, Carter explains how he structures his day, one that he hope will end in glory for the Crusaders and their first title since 2008.


9am (Sydney time) - get out of bed: "The majority of our games are at night which makes for a long day. When you're stuck in your hotel it can drag along a bit... filling in the day can be challenging so I like to have a wee sleep in."

9.30am - breakfast at hotel.

10.30am - coffee: "I like to catch up with friends or go out for a coffee in the morning to get out of the hotel before returning for lunch."

12.30pm - lunch at hotel.

2.30pm - team meeting: "Five hours before kick-off we always meet as a team and go out and have a jog around, we might find an indoor stadium or a park to throw the ball around. The forwards might go through their lineouts and the backs can jog through a few of our moves; just get out of the hotel and get the body moving before we return to the hotel where we have our pre-match meal which is always four hours before kick-off.

3.30pm - pre-match meal at hotel.

4.15pm - sleep. "After [our meal], guys do various things. I tend to go back to my room and go to sleep for an hour to fill in some time and help relax before catching up with the physio and getting strapped up. I always get my ankles strapped before games, I've had a few problems with those in the past."

6pm - on bus for Olympic Stadium.

6.15pm - arrive Olympic Stadium.

7.40pm - kick-off.

Carter this week admitted to nerves ahead of this match, his biggest of the season following his sabbatical. For him, there is nothing like winning a grand final.

"The beauty of playing a team sport, when you do have success, it's a combination of every piece of the puzzle coming together... the players, the management, you're all driving towards the same goal and when you do get success, it's normally over a long period of time that you that you've been building and building and building. To have that, to be able to share that with your mates, the guys who have been on the battlefield with you, and help you prepare in whatever way, is a pretty special feeling.

"I've been pretty lucky to have been involved in some pretty successful teams, especially with the Crusaders. I've won three titles with them and all of them have been absolutely magic, there's no better feeling than being in the changing room after winning a competition like that."