Crowds beware of Carter's flying tees
Monday 15 Jul 2013 7:43 p.m.
So far, over the Super Rugby season Dan Carter has thrown away nearly 200 specially made kicking tees.
On the surface that seems an extravagance, wasteful even, but instead it's all for the fans.
There's the conventional way to get Dan Carter's coveted signature or there's the new way, but you have to stay alert to flying tees at Crusaders games.
"When I'm over on an end-of-year tour, I tend to throw a few tees after training to kids," says Carter. "So I came up with the idea that I should start throwing them into the crowd after each kick, and it's something that I've done this year."
That's a fair few of the autographed tees, as Carter's kicked 27 conversions and 24 penalties this year and he tosses his tee when he misses too.
"I have huge respect for people who make an effort to come to the games, so if there's something I can do by giving out a tee here and there, then I'm only too happy," he says.
He takes between 12 and 15 to a game with assistant coach Aaron Mauger, who runs the tee out and also keeps count so Carter doesn't go tee-less.
"I've talked to a few people who have managed to catch the odd kicking tee in the crowd and they seem to appreciate it," Carter says.
But you have to keep your eye on the tee.
"I did meet one guy after the game in the weekend and it teed him in the head," he says. "He was looking in the other direction and the next thing I know I threw the tee and it hit him square in the head. So I might have to be a bit more careful when I'm throwing the tees in to the crowd in the future."
He'll get more target practice when the Crusaders host the Reds in Saturday's quarterfinal.