Daniel Carter, world rugby’s leading points scorer and one of the greatest players to ever don the All Blacks jersey, is to leave New Zealand rugby at the end of the 2015 season.
The All Blacks and Crusaders flyhalf has announced he has signed a three-year deal with French Top 14 club Racing Metro. It will be Carter’s second stint in France after he played five games for Perpignan in 2008-09 during his sabbatical from New Zealand rugby.
32-year-old Carter said it was exciting to confirm his future post 2015.
“It’s going to be an awesome adventure for me and my family. Having visited France many times, including my time with Perpignan, I know what the French culture and their rugby culture is like and it’s something I really love.
“Having said that, it’s the immediate future that is exciting me at the moment. 2015 is going to be a big year and I’m looking forward to getting into it, firstly with the Crusaders and then hopefully with the All Blacks.
“My body is feeling really good, I’m training really hard and getting some good conditioning in so I can hit the ground running next year. I’m looking forward to getting out and playing some good footy.”
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said while everyone was looking forward to seeing Carter in action in 2015, today’s announcement was an opportunity to celebrate everything he had already achieved in New Zealand rugby.
“I am sure all New Zealand rugby fans will celebrate Dan’s remaining time in New Zealand and he will leave with NZ Rugby’s very best wishes.
“Dan has been incredibly loyal over the years and for that we thank him. Whilst everyone is aware of his outstanding achievements on the rugby field, it’s also important to note that during his career he re-committed to New Zealand at two critical junctures in our rugby history – after the 2007 Rugby World Cup and again following the 2011 tournament.
“That decision by Dan and other senior players to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby after 2007 should not be underestimated; he was a key part of a group of players who formed the backbone of the All Blacks over the following years, which ultimately helped the All Blacks to victory at Rugby World Cup 2011. For that we will be eternally grateful to him. We look forward to having him in New Zealand for one final season.”
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said, “On behalf of the All Blacks, I want to congratulate Dan on his decision and also on his career to date. He is still in the midst of a wonderful career, both as a provincial and Super Rugby player and an All Black, and will leave us as the greatest first five-eighth ever.
“Whilst he hasn’t finished yet in New Zealand, he has already set the benchmark for first five play, and we look forward to seeing him out on the paddock in 2015.”
Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder added, “Dan Carter has given so much to rugby in this region. He is one of the most famous rugby players in the world, but he is still a local lad who has never forgotten his roots. ‘DC’ is the ultimate team player and his contribution is as significant off the field as it is on the field.
“The Crusaders will be very sad to see a player of DC’s calibre go, but we are thankful for all that he has given us over the last 11 years and we are looking forward to a final season with him in 2015. I know that this will be a special season for Dan and we’ll certainly be hoping to help him leave on a high note.”