“I officially retire from professional rugby today. A sport that I have played for 32 years and which has helped me to become the person I am today“, Carter announced soberly on social networks.
“I cannot thank enough everyone who played a part in my journey, especially you, the supporters. Rugby will always be a part of my life. Thank you“, added the one who is considered the archetypal full opening half, as good at kicking as he is with the ball in hand.
Carter who is retiring is a legend who is leaving. His career, which ended with a last freelance in New Zealand, did not end with the unique mark he left on world rugby.
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– In history –
In Auckland, where he arrived in 2020, Carter was trying to find play time and fun. “The GOAT (best player of all time in English, editor’s note) is back!“, was ecstatic at the time, his former teammate Aaron Smith.
A return to New Zealand, which he left in 2015, which did not have the expected effect. “I realized that I didn’t have the same willpower as in my previous seasons in New Zealand. So, between the moment I understood that and realized that I didn’t want to travel anymore because of the pandemic, I told myself that it was the right time to stop“, he confided to L’Equipe, in an interview published Saturday morning on the site of the sports daily.
King Carter therefore leaves rugby behind him, after more than a decade of titles in Super Rugby, the Southern Hemisphere franchise championship (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008), in the Top League (2019), the Japanese, or in Top 14, won in 2009 with Perpignan (2009) and with Racing 92 (2016).
But it is really with the famous black jersey of the All Blacks that he exploded in the eyes of the general public. With his science of the game and incredibly precise left foot, Carter scored 1,598 points in 112 caps for the Fern Jersey. A world record despite the injuries that thwarted his plans (Achilles tendon, adductors …).
– “An inspiration” –
He also – and above all – lifted the Webb Ellis Cup twice, first in 2011 despite his injury, then in 2015 when, triumphant and in full possession of his means, he was one of the great architects of the double.
An XXL performance that earned him the title of best player in the world that year, for the third time in his career, after 2005 and 2012.
“Now it’s also good to enjoy the weekends with the family, pick up my kids at 3pm after school … And my body thanks me for not having to play anymore!“, he also smiled.
A departure hailed by its former partners or adversaries: “Congratulations, mate. It was an honor to play against you so often, less to lose so often! Enjoy your retirement, you deserve it“, joked his Australian counterpart Matt Giteau, also 38, passed in particular by Toulon.
“You were an inspiration for all N.10, it was a privilege to play against the best“, underlined for its part the former opener of Wallabies Quade Cooper. A page turns.
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