Dan Carter inspired French pivot Romain Ntamack

GettyImages 1354578770

Ntamack, who helped spark France to its November win over the All Blacks, told Midi Olympique he had always wanted to be a first five-eighths when growing up. Watching top exponents in the position made him want to play rugby.


And at the top of his list was All Blacks great Dan Carter.


"I have always admired him. It is partly thanks to him that I wanted to occupy this position. He inspired me so much. I always wanted to copy him, do what he did.


"Everything he managed to achieve with the All Blacks was incredible…I also watched all his games with the Crusaders in Super Rugby," he said.


Ntamack said first five-eighths was a symbolic position, and it had the highest number of great players. It required talent and responsibility.


"The first five-eighths is always the player who makes the kids dream because he is supposed to know how to do everything. As a result, the position is highly coveted."


Carter managed to do everything with precision yet make it look easy, he said.


“It looked like he was playing with such ease, almost walking. But he always managed to cross the pitch or put the ball where he wanted with his kicking game. When goal-kicking, the ball went through the posts every time.”

Romain Ntamack


"He was also a big defender. He is the most complete player I have had the chance to see."


Although games started at 8 am in France, he set his alarm clock to watch the All Blacks and Crusaders' games with his father, the former French international Emile Ntamack.


"We were both fascinated. And we often laughed at the ease with which Carter dominated.


"The guy faces the best players in the world and he's still just as easy. Carter was truly a cut above the rest. I analysed his play to inspire my play," he said.


Carter's ability to influence matches, not just by one action but games as a whole, captured Ntamack's attention.


"What comes back to me is the whole 2015 World Cup. He was exceptional. He was walking on water at the time when he was at the end of his career," he said.


But Ntamack said first five-eighths like Carter or England's Jonny Wilkinson were also consistently calm.


"Even when they lost, when it didn't go their way, they never panicked. They showed nothing, they were cold and calm. I saw them communicate with their teammates with a lot of calmness in tough times. But don't think it's always simple," he said.



View all