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Carter's desire rises the closer he gets to his return

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Sportal.co.nz     16 Apr 2014     Getty Images

The leading points scorer in Test Rugby talked to Associated Press while in England for a sponsorship announcement.

He is due to return to competitive play in July with the Crusaders for the last stages of the Super Rugby competition.

Carter said playing in a World Cup final was the goal that was driving him. While he had been in the side that reached the semi-finals in Australia in 2003 and the quarter-finals in Cardiff in 2007, he was injured with a groin injury when the All Blacks contested the final in 2011.

"I have achieved a lot in my career but have never really had a lot of success come World Cup time.

"That's why 2011 was really mixed emotions for me. I was so proud of the team and actually felt involved and part of winning the World Cup, which is great. But to not be there in the playoff stage was frustrating," he said.

No team has defended the World Cup and that would be New Zealand's goal next year.

"We love making history and doing new things so it's going to be a real goal for us. But there is still a lot of time, a lot of work, and a lot of competition," he said.

Carter said his sabbatical had been 'fantastic, not only physically but also mentally'.

""It's my 12th season this year so it's been really refreshing. It was a chance just to step back and work hard on my body, so the last few months I've been training really hard just to get on top of my little niggles, just to mentally freshen up.

"When I return to play in July, it's only 14 months until the World Cup," he said.