13 Dec 2015

Carter enjoys dream debut for Racing 92

1:08 pm on 13 December 2015

Former All Black first-five Dan Carter has made a seamless debut for his French club Racing 92 in a 33-3 thrashing of English side Northampton in their European Cup clash in Paris.

Dan Carter playing for new French club Racing Metro 92.

Dan Carter playing for new French club Racing Metro 92. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Retired New Zealand great Carter admitted he was nervous yet ran the game smoothly at five-eighth in his first appearance since a starring role in the All Blacks recent World Cup title defence.

The 33-year-old, his right knee heavily strapped, kicked three out of four conversion attempts before being replaced by Springboks international Johan Goosen in the 63rd minute.

Racing's forwards controlled the game, making life easy for Carter at Stade Yves-du-Manoir which was not full for the world player of the year's club debut.

"I was a little bit nervous before the game, I was unsure about how I would go after having six weeks off," Carter said.

"I was blowing a bit towards the end but hopefully I can keep building on this performance because it's brilliant to be here playing for this great club.

"You look at the talent here, there's so many French internationals, Kiwis, South Africans, it's a real United Nations. But talent is not going to be what wins this competition it's about how we all gel together."

A number of familiar faces were in Racing's starting line-up, including former All Blacks team-mates Joe Rokocoko, Casey Laualala and Chris Masoe, along with former Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna, whose charging run and offload set up French international fullback Brice Dulin for one of his two tries.

Carter's previous appearance in European club rugby came seven years ago, in an injury-disrupted stint for Perpignan.

Racing halfback Mike Phillips said Carter had plenty more to offer.

"Dan's been great all week, he's obviously world class and will get better and better each training session, each game, so it's great for the squad," the long-serving Welsh international said.

"He's certainly a quick learner, today was as if he's been here for a long time."

Phillips jokingly added that Carter's heavily-strapped right knee was nothing to worry about.

"It's the money he's on, it's weighing him down on one side," he said of the world record Test points scorer.

"He's all right, he's been around and he's getting on."

Racing leapfrog Northampton to go to the top of pool three in the European Cup.