All Blacks star Dan Carter has sounded a warning to New Zealand and Canterbury Crusaders coaching staff that he does not expect to be permanently switched from fly-half to the midfield.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder handed Carter the number 12 jersey for last week's Super 15 clash against the Western Stormers instead of his customary number 10, starting him as inside centre for the first time in seven years.
The tactical gamble paid off spectacularly, the Crusaders handing the Stormers their first defeat of the season as Carter's replacement in the pivot's position, Tom Taylor, scored all of his team's points in a 31-24 win.
Blackadder has again named Taylor at number 10 for the clash against the Wellington Hurricanes on Saturday, prompting Carter to declare his intention to win back his favoured spot.
The 30-year-old, who recently returned from a groin injury that ended his Rugby World Cup campaign, said he had no desire to switch positions late in his career and wanted to play at number 10 in the next World Cup in 2015.
"I know I am going to get asked about whether I may move back to 12 in the latter half of my career. If I can keep my fitness and form for the 2015 World Cup, might it be as a second five-eighth (12)?" he wrote in a column on therugbysite.com.
"Well, let me be polite about this. I am a lot more comfortable at 10 these days. All that experience is better used at first-five (10). So, when you add it all up, it comes to 10."
Carter, who will notch up his 100th game for the Crusaders this weekend, said he had developed from his early career when he played inside centre and was now more suited to being a fly-half.
"I was a quiet rugby player back then," he said. "I didn't have the direction or the leadership or the vision to fully control a game."