Rugby World Cup: All Blacks' Carter warns of France's mercurial qualities

New Zealand All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter attends a press conference in Darlington, north east England on Oct 7, 2015, during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter attends a press conference in Darlington, north east England on Oct 7, 2015, during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.PHOTO: AFP

Reuters - New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter is expecting France to play out of their skin in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff on Saturday.

Carter and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw are the only survivors from the team stunned 20-18 by the French in the 2007 World Cup last-eight clash at the Millennium Stadium.

"They love playing the All Blacks in big matches and I know they will perform out their skin. It's about us turning up," Carter told reporters.

"It didn't really matter who we played. The main focus for us was to reach the quarter-final and finish on top of the pool. We did that and we knew potentially we would come up against Ireland and France."

There has been no discussion in the New Zealand camp about revenge. "It's not something we have talked about, it's more (a subject) for the public and the press," Carter said.

" We are not looking in the past. It is not daunting us. It's just an exciting challenge at a stadium where we love to play."

New Zealand have beaten France in their last eight meetings, with the last French win coming in 2009 in Dunedin.

"We have played so much rugby since then and the French will probably say the same," Carter said. "It was eight years ago and we have moved on from there with a new team who have been through a lot together. It's all about looking forward.

"But they are a dangerous side and these are the challenges we love, so the guys will be up for it."

France eased through their first three games in the tournament before producing a lacklustre performance to lose 9-24 to Ireland.

"The thing is they are very unpredictable," Carter said. "Form and momentum doesn't count for much with the French. They can be poor one week and awesome the next."

New Zealand will try to enjoy the occasion. "They are going to be put under a lot of pressure so I think the key to that is embracing it," Carter said.

"We need to use the challenge as something that really excites us. In these games it's all about who copes best with the pressure."

France spluttered through the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand before giving the All Blacks an almighty scare in the final in Auckland, which the hosts won 8-7.

"That's one of their strengths. They can just flick a switch and turn it on," Carter said.