19 Dec 2014

Carter signs with Racing Metro

1:41 pm on 19 December 2014
Dan Carter announces he's off to France to play for Racing Metro.

Dan Carter announces he's off to France to play for Racing Metro. Photo: Photosport

The All Blacks first five Dan Carter has confirmed he's signed with French club Racing Metro on a three-year deal.

The 32-year-old Carter will join the Paris based club at the end of the 2015 season after the World Cup.

It will be Carter's second stint in France after he played five games for Perpignan in 2008-2009 during his sabbatical from New Zealand rugby.

His time there did not end well though with Carter's season cut short with a serious achilles tendon injury.

Dan Carter playing for Perpignan in 2009.

Dan Carter playing for Perpignan in 2009. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"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," he says.

"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 says "Dan has been incredibly loyal to New Zealand Rugby 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 recommitted 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."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says while Carter hasn't finished yet in New Zealand, he has already set the benchmark for first five play, and they look forward to seeing him out on the paddock in 2015.

He joins Australia veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper, who said earlier he would join Bordeaux-Begles on a two-year contract, and former Wallabies captain James Horwill who will join English club Harlequins following the World Cup.

The exodus from New Zealand and Australia is expected to grow, with reports that All Blacks inside centre Ma'a Nonu is fielding overseas offers.

Both nations have selection policies that preclude players based offshore from playing for the national sides.

Carter's move is unsurprising given his run with injury since the 2011 World Cup, where he suffered a torn groin muscle before the All Blacks' final pool game and was ruled out of the rest of the tournament.

He has appeared in just eight of the All Blacks' 28 Tests in the past two seasons after problems with his Achilles' tendon, groin, shoulder and a broken leg.

He was identified by coach Hansen two years ago as a 'red-flag athlete', whose workload needed to be carefully managed to get him through to the 2015 World Cup.

Carter had a NZRU-approved six-month sabbatical earlier this year to allow him time to recover from niggling injuries but then broke his leg in the Super Rugby final in August and played just two tests on the end of season tour this year.

Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams, 2010.

Dan Carter is international rugby's leading points scorer. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Daniel Carter - biography:

From the small rural Canterbury town of Southbridge, 32-year-old Daniel Carter has grown into an icon of world rugby since making his provincial debut for Canterbury in 2002 and his Super Rugby and All Blacks debut the following year.

Carter is a two-time World Rugby Player of the Year, he holds numerous All Blacks and international rugby records.

He is one of five All Blacks centurions and the leading points scorer in world rugby, scoring a staggering 1457 points (29 tries, 260 conversions, 258 penalties, six dropped goals) in his 102 Tests to date, for an average of 14 points per Test.

He is also the leading points scorer in Super Rugby and a Super centurion, amassing 1581 points (33 tries, 264 conversions, 285 penalties, 11 dropped goals) in his 11 seasons to date.

Carter was named New Zealand Player of the Year in 2004, won the New Zealand and World titles in 2005 and was again World Player in 2012. He was also a World Player nominee in 2006 and 2008.

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