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Dan Carter The Autobiography of an All Blacks Legend By Dan Carter with Jack Lark

Release date: 20th November, 2015
Publisher: Headline

List Price: £19.99
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When Martin Johnson published his best-selling autobiography immediately after the 2003 World Cup final, rugby fans were delighted to discover that the big man had foregone some of the post-match celebrations to write a final chapter which concentrated on England’s historic victory. So rushed was this last-minute section that the final few pages were published in a different font to the rest of the book, completed and ready for printing some weeks before.

Dan Carter’s autobiography, written with Jack Lark, doesn’t include a comprehensive, Johnson-style finale, describing how he felt when scoring an outrageous, left-footed drop goal before lifting the Webb Ellis trophy for the second time (a much briefer comment does appear in the prologue), but despite what many fans might consider an oversight, this book remains a compelling read.

It’s less than two months since Carter, who scored four penalties, two conversions and that drop goal, was declared man of the match in the World Cup final, a fitting accolade for a man considered the very best New Zealander fly half ever. The best of all time? Those who recall Barry John in his prime might protest, but Carter, the International Rugby Board’s player of the year on three occasions, has been an outstanding performer.

His autobiography provides us with a glimpse of how a naturally talented rugby player, but also a shy man, worked at becoming the best of class; there’s no jaw-dropping revelation though – sheer hard work is the key to Carter’s success.

And what success he has enjoyed. Yet because he comes across as a modest, likeable guy who understands professional sport’s fine line between success and failure, this autobiography spends more time telling us about the ‘how’ rather than the (almost inevitable) winning aftermath. One suspects that Carter had little to do with the book’s ‘All Black Legend’ suffix.

Nevertheless, the ‘legend’ tag, bandied about far too readily across sport’s wide spectrum, is appropriate when describing Dan Carter; he may not be a budding writer, overly interested in meeting a publisher’s deadline, but he undoubtedly deserves the ‘great’ moniker.


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