The sun was shining on Wembley Stadium today as Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett put what they described as the icing on the cake in terms of their goal kicking preparation.

Tomorrow morning NZT, the All Blacks will begin their defence of their World Cup title with a Pool C match against Argentina in this magnificent arena in front of 90,000 and a television audience numbering in the hundreds of millions. For Carter, 33 and in the twilight of his career, it will be business as usual.

He had to work very hard to get here, what with his injuries and competition posed by first Aaron Cruden and then, once the Chiefs first-five injured himself and was ruled out, Lima Sopoaga.

But it has all paid off. Now Carter is ready for his first World Cup match since the personal disappointment of a ruptured adductor at the last one.


"The last test match [against Australia at Eden Park] gave me a lot of confidence," he said. "Leading up to that I was reasonably happy with the way I've been performing throughout the year in terms of getting better as the year went on.

"It was pleasing to get a strong performance like that under my belt leading into this tournament. The reason you get performances like that is through hard work and I've worked extremely hard all year."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen reverses traditional roles and interviews the New Zealand Herald rugby experts Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry.

Carter was asked about how the noise might affect him and his team against the Pumas at a stadium in which the crowd are almost within touching distance of the players.

"It all blends into background noise," he said. "Having those rugby or football or rugby specific stadiums like this which we don't always get in New Zealand, can change the atmosphere a little bit. It can make it a better atmosphere to play in. I don't mind it, to be honest. It's not like you can hear individual people yelling out stuff. As a player it just turns into background noise.

"It's quite good to familiarise yourself with the stadium before game day," he said of the kickabout with Barrett. "Obviously there will be a few nerves this time tomorrow so to take in something new then could be quite challenging. To be here 24 hours before we're more relaxed and can learn more about the stadium. It could be as simple as the touchlines to the stand, just getting your bearings."

New Zealand Herald's Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry are sideline at Wembley Stasdium as the All Black kickers Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett practice ahead of the All Blacks World cup opener against Argentina.

Coach Steve Hansen, meanwhile, sitting between the pair, was reluctant to talk about the performance of the match officials in the opening match between England and Fiji at Twickenham, a game which went for more than 100 minutes due to the constant stoppages and TMO referrals.

"People will form their own opinions - you only have to read what's being tweeted and what's been said," Hansen said. "There's no point in me jumping on it. They'll sort it out.

At the end of the day, it's obviously a new toy they are playing with, the [television technology] Hawk Eye, and people are a bit excited about it, but it will come back."