Sir Fred Allen, our only undefeated All Black coach, was unequivocal about Dan Carter: "He's the best first-five I've ever seen."

This week Carter himself - still as grounded and relaxed as you ever hope someone who grew up in rural Southbridge in Canterbury but who went on to make millions of dollars playing a sport he loves to be - gently took all the air out of the "Carter for the World Cup" talk that's been swirling online.

Recovering from neck surgery, All Black great Dan Carter's playing future is uncertain.

At 37, with his neck in a brace for the next three months, you can see