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Super-Dan Does It Again In Milan Media Circus

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Dan Carter. Pic: NZPA
Dan Carter. Pic: NZPA

By Mark Geenty of NZPA

Milan, Nov 10 NZPA - Kicking the matchwinning penalty or running headlong into the Springboks rugby forward pack is surely easier than this.

Welcome to the Dan Carter show, Milan style. A cast of hundreds, all wanting their piece of the All Blacks' biggest star in a media circus of epic proportions.

But, true to form, Carter kept his cool in the face of the kind of provocation perhaps only Bakkies Botha could rival.

It all started tamely enough, with Carter and teammates Jimmy Cowan, Luke McAlister and Zac Guildford presented to the cheering crowd at Arena Civica at the launch of adidas' new footy boots.

The other star turn, Brazilian and Juventus soccer player Diego, was fashionably late so Carter and his teammates took on some lesser-known soccer names in a kicking competition off a balcony.

Carter hit the target, 40m away, three times in a row, once with a soccer ball. Diego arrived but struggled badly with the rugby ball.

That was the easy part for Our Dan.

He was ushered inside where the hounds strained at their leashes, cameras and microphones ready to pounce, the yelling reaching a crescendo.

As the pack descended, the media minders gave Sky Italy first crack with a series of standard questions; how does it feel to be one point behind Andrew Mehrtens' pointscoring record, what will it be like to play at San Siro before 80,000 people....

But wait! As the gaggle of New Zealand reporters cautiously pressed in to ask Carter's thoughts on his upcoming judicial hearing, she pounced.

Waving her arms, demanding we return our recorders to their holsters at once, the television reporter thundered: "It's a one to one, please, it's a one to one!"

Microphone up like a bayonet, interviewer No 2 charged forth.

Q: Can you present yourself to the Italian public?

Carter: "Hi, I'm Dan Carter, unfortunately my Italian is not very good so it will be in English."

Q: OK, in English?

Carter: "Hi, I'm Dan Carter from the All Blacks and we're looking forward to the game against Italy this weekend."

Q: What do you do when you're not playing rugby, do you like music?

Carter: "I love music, I'm learning to DJ at the moment and also love fashion so it's fantastic to be here in Milan for the best shopping in the world."

Q: What is your budget for this week?

Carter: "My budget... I'll probably use my credit and probably blow that with all the great shops here like Dolce and Gabanna..."

Clearly, Carter had the locals eating out of his hands.

The interviewer also knew Carter used to perform the haka in the mirror as a kid, and he confirmed this.

Then, she was done, with one final demand.

Q: Say ciao, in Italian.

Carter: "Ciao."

Luckily for Carter, there were no further commands as he answered several more questions then headed for the exit, insisting with a smile that this was one of the "fun" parts of his job.

Then it was Diego's turn, but the chance to quiz him on Carter was limited.

"Only Spanish," Diego said, politely, as he fronted up to a sea of microphones.

It was a job finding out how big Carter and the All Blacks actually were in Italy, but Cagliari soccer player Alessandro Matri happily obliged with help from a handy interpreter: former Italian flanker and dinkum Kiwi, Aaron Persico.

"He doesn't know much about rugby but he knows the All Blacks and since they're a good team he follows their games."

We could decipher one word clearly. Lomu.

"He knows Lomu, but out of all the rugby players, Dan Carter is the most famous."

Matri said everybody was going to San Siro on Sunday (NZT) to watch the All Blacks play, all 75,000 of them.

He then took his signed All Blacks rugby ball and wandered off, as the rest of us shook our heads at how Carter keeps his cool.


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