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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 06:55 GMT 07:55 UK
Spencer wants kicking role
Carlos Spencer
Spencer (pictured) has lost out on kicking duties to Carter
Carlos Spencer has vowed to win back his role as first-choice goal-kicker for New Zealand.

Spencer went into the opening game of the tournament against Italy with the kicking duties but was replaced mid-game by centre Daniel Carter after missing a host of simple chances.

Carter has since held onto the job but Spencer is determined to impress coach John Mitchell.

He said: "I would like to have it [the kicking role] back but we are obviously able to share it around, which is great."

Despite being overlooked for the spot kicks, Spencer has been ever present in the starting line-up. Friday will be his third consecutive start of the tournament at fly-half.

And the attacking number 10 has no plans to change his style.

"A lot of flair is involved in my game, and that is how I have always played it," he said. "I have been criticised for that at times - but I am not going to change the way I play and never will.

We still haven't seen our top side running around in Australia
Former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick

"The forward pack have done their job this year, and that has made my job a whole lot easier. If you have a pack which is going forward and they are giving you good ball that is great."

Spencer insists the All Blacks are yet to show their best, despite scoring 138 points in their opening two games.

He added: "It is early days and important we don't peak too soon. We still have a lot to work on but we have scored some good tries in the last couple of games.

"I am sure, though, that every side is holding something back. No side will want to show all their cards right now."

Mitchell's insistence on overhauling his starting line-up for the games against Italy and Canada as well as for the Tonga game on Friday have given his side little chance to settle.

But his rotation policy was backed by former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick.

"Everyone is asking me what's going on but I can't give the answers," he told the All Blacks' official website about team selection.

"It's fair to say the All Blacks have got the English, and probably all of their World Cup opposition, confused.

"Three different teams in as many matches at this tournament has certainly got everyone guessing.

"Two weeks out from the biggest game of the year, a quarter-final against South Africa, and we still haven't seen our top side running around in Australia.

"We can only hope the All Blacks themselves aren't confused."





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