Dan Carter is a heroic figure for New Zealand, creating history for the All Blacks and having always delivering a great performance for his country, as recently the fly-half was recalled to the New Zealand squad by Steve Hansen.
According to ESPN, the 32-year-old has been selected by head coach Hansen for the 2014 Rugby Championship which is commencing later this year, as Carter was left out of All Blacks' test against England in June.
Carter has made 100 appearances for New Zealand, as well becoming a Test Centurion for his country, and after announcing the squad head coach Hansen spoke ESPN stating this will be the team that will move forward into the next year.
"We are now looking forward to bringing the players together and building on the progress we made against England," Hansen said.
"The Rugby Championship gives us the next opportunity to see where we are at, and it doesn't get much bigger than back-to-back Bledisloe Cup Tests to kick it off. It's going to be another intense competition."
Carter has already made 39 appearances in the Rugby Championships and has helped his nation win eight titles with the hopeful chance of winning three in a row coming this August.
But there is still no doubt that Carter can offer so much to an already strong side, as people would say the Crusaders' fly-half is the missing link in a World Cup winning team.
Carter may not get a starting role ahead of the impressive Aaron Cruden, who put on a terrific display against England in the recent test, but his role may be off the bench.
Making an influence would be enough to help see out a game and to kick the ball in advantage of New Zealand; mainly to gain ground or to cause frustration for the opposition.
As Hansen went on to state it is about building for the 2015 World Cup which will be hosted in England, and this again asks the question if Carter can go on to push for a place in the starting 15.
Having already helped win the 2011 World Cup with his country in his home nation beating South Africa, 2015 could be a wonderful send-off; beating a long standing rival in their home country at Twickenham, but at the moment the focus is on this August.
A Throwback to 2005 vs. British & Irish Lions
New Zealand's first game of this years' tournament will be against Australia in Sydney; the Aussies are no pushovers by any means and can give their neighbours a torrid time in the Australian city, but the All Blacks are an experienced side.
With 21 of their 31 players aged 25 and over Hansen has gone for the experience instead of the exuberance of young players, a common move coaches have been instigating recently.
But Hansen acknowledged the power and class of his opponents going on to state that this will be one of his hardest tests.
"South Africa and Australia are ranked second and third in the world and both had successful June Test series, while Argentina will again bring the physicality and passion which we know they are renowned for," stated Hansen.
"They will also bring the knowledge and experience which comes from playing in The Rugby Championship and we are expecting them to improve further."
This time next year
It seems then this Championship will be the perfect warm-up on route to the World Cup, playing against some of the best teams in the world followed by an encounter against a physical team who won't go down without a fight.
A real test for the more experienced players to see if they still have the legs for an encounter like this.
But again this tournament could answer a lot of questions, with the World Cup no more than 13 months away next year could be a final chapter for some of these players and be the end of a golden generation which has blessed the rugby stage.
Being drawn in Pool D with the likes of Tonga and Argentina it would be seem like a routine route into the knock-out stages, and for Carter to practice his kicking on foreign turf for the bigger games around the corner, for 2015 is a telling time for this captivating nation.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms