Dan Carter
Dan Carter will be keen to make amends in his fourth World Cup Getty

New Zealand's poignant victory on home soil four years ago was far from perfect. In the final against Australia, instead of a free-flowing, enterprising display against arch northern hemisphere rivals France, the All Blacks were blighted with nerves and but for Stephen Donald's nerveless penalty, weeks after he had been on a fishing holiday, would have missed their big chance to claim a second World Cup.

Donald was on that occasion fourth choice in the Kiwi ranks, thrust in after options at fly half fell like a pack of cards, with injuries crippling New Zealand's half-back options. Colin Slade and Aaron Cruden lasted just minutes of the matches against Argentina and France, but it was the loss of Dan Carter that set the injury trend in motion.

In 2015, Carter returns to the Rugby World Cup with unfinished business. Perhaps the finest number 10 to grace the game in the professional era, he goes into the tournament fit again and ready to inspire the first ever successful defence of the William Webb Ellis trophy.

Having agreed to join Racing Metro and at the age of 33, the World Cup is likely to represent the last New Zealand sees of Carter in his pomp. After a series of injuries since missing out on his nation's big day, he rediscovered his best form in timely fashion with the boot in the victory over Australia in Auckland in August, with 16 points as the Wallabies were swept aside.

With the ball in hand, Carter made two of New Zealand's five tries, in a stark reminder that the world's highest points scorer is not just a machine from the floor. The reality is he poses as many weapons as ever, with the added motivation of making up for the nightmare of 2011 where he featured in just two games.

Amid plenty of discussion over the experience of their main opponents for the title, particularly hosts England, the All Blacks have experience running through the spine of their team. By the end of the pool stage, the five most capped players in their history will be part of the class of 2015, with Ma'a Nonu expected to become the latest centurion in the pool stage.

Having such know-how in a position that is so significant to how a team operates could be a vital asset for Steve Hansen's side, with many of their rivals entrusting individuals less tried and tested, let alone certain in their own skin. In Carter New Zealand trust, but will it be fourth time lucky on the biggest stage of all?