Dan Carter praises Ronan O’Gara’s ‘hugely beneficial’ insights ahead of European final

Dan Carter believes the experience of European Cup winners like Racing coach Ronan O'Gara and number eight Chris Masoe is an important factor heading into Saturday's European Champions Cup final against Saracens.

The English side edged out Racing 12-11 in last season's quarter-finals, and it could be just as close this time around.

"Obviously It's a very historical moment for the club and it's a huge occasion, and it's good for the other players just to feed off little words or experiences that they (O'Gara and Masoe) have been through at this level in these high-pressure matches," Carter said.

Dan Carter praises Ronan O’Gara’s ‘hugely beneficial’ insights ahead of European final

"It's been valuable. They are not the only ones leading the week, but their little insights and words of wisdom go a long way.

"It has been hugely beneficial for us to have the guys who have been there and done that before."

O'Gara, meanwhile, believes the half-back partnership that Carter has struck up with current France international number nine Maxime Machenaud has been a driving force for Racing this season.

Dan Carter praises Ronan O’Gara’s ‘hugely beneficial’ insights ahead of European final

"They haven't played that much rugby together, but there's a great thing between them," O'Gara said.

"It's an important combination. The two of them are very different, yet very similar. Max likes getting involved and is taking his game to a new level; Dan's composed, but Dan is also capable of doing something unexpected, which is what singles him out.

"We are here to win something. We are not here to enjoy ourselves. We're here to win, and then we can have fun - that is the club's philosophy."

Carter promises to be the biggest individual hurdle between Saracens and European glory, as he lines up in another showpiece final less than seven months after he guided New Zealand to World Cup success.

"It is obviously the pinnacle of European rugby, and a big part of the reason why I wanted to come here," Carter added. "To reach this stage is a hugely proud moment for me, and more importantly, for this team.

"We haven't won anything yet. We are up against a very good Saracens side. We've done well to get here, but the hard work starts now.

"It has been a pretty special 12-14 months with some of the things I've achieved. I am just lucky to be a part of a couple of pretty special teams. Obviously, the All Blacks and what they've achieved, and to be involved now with Racing.

"It (European competition) has been fantastic. It's something I have admired for a while, since I played here six or seven years ago (with Perpignan).

"I saw the standard of European rugby was a lot higher than the (French) club competition, the Top 14, and once you get to the play-offs, that standard goes up another level."

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