New Zealand great Dan Carter believes the All Blacks could be strengthened for Rugby World Cup 2023 by their disappointment in Japan four years ago.
England relegated New Zealand to the bronze-medal match with a 19-7 semi-final win in Yokohama in Rugby World Cup 2019, ending the All Blacks' hopes of becoming world champions three times in a row.
However, the "hurt" of that loss could "add motivation" to Ian Foster's team in France, the former fly-half suggested in Paris on the morning of the opening match.
A two-time World Cup winner, Carter played in the pool stages of the 2011 tournament before a groin injury ruled him out of the rest of the competition as New Zealand went on to lift the Webb Ellis Cup on home soil. The fly-half was then the standout player in the 2015 World Cup final in London as he contributed 19 points from the boot in a 34-17 triumph over Australia in his final international match.
However, the all-time record points scorer in tests attributes some of that success to the painful 20-18 quarter-final defeat by France at Rugby World Cup 2007 in Cardiff.
"The reason we were able to have success in 2011 and 2015 was because we had players who had been part of that 2007 World Cup," said Carter, after a stint making coffees for fans in a Paris cafe with his former team-mates Victor Vito and Conrad Smith.
"We learned so much and we had that extra motivation, and that’s what excites me about the All Blacks at this World Cup.
"In 2019 our experienced players were players who had played in 2011 and 2015, so they didn’t know what it took to lose a World Cup.
"I know that sounds strange but now they’ve got that hurt, that disappointment, the learnings from an unsuccessful 2019 World Cup to add as motivation so I’m really keen to see how a lot of the more experienced players of the All Blacks fight back after what happened four years ago."
Carter, Vito and Smith were at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Friday for the opening match of RWC 2023, when New Zealand lost 27-13 to France in Pool A.
Reflecting on the highs and lows of his four Rugby World Cups, Carter said: "Some of the learnings I got were so special and unique. It was a slow start, being knocked out in the semi-final in 2003 and then in the quarter-final in 2007, so there were some huge learnings from those World Cups to really put myself and the team in a good stead.
"The World Cup final in 2015 was one of my most memorable games. I just felt like I was in control and even though the Wallabies changed the momentum of the game in the second half and fought their way back, to help the All Blacks become the first team to win back-to-back World Cups was special.
"It was not only myself - a lot of experienced All Blacks were finishing after that game, so it's such a special memory.
"In sport, you’re not guaranteed fairytale finishes but for me that was probably one of the most special games of my career and an amazing way to finish my international career, on such a high as winning that World Cup."