38-year-old Carter leaves Japanese club but no retirement announcement

The legendary former All Blacks out-half helped the Kobelco Steelers to the Top League title in 2018

FORMER ALL BLACKS out-half Dan Carter has confirmed that his time with Japanese club Kobelco Steelers is over but the 38-year-old has not yet indicated that he will retire from professional rugby.

Carter joined the Kobe-based Steelers from French side Racing 92 in 2018 and helped them to win a Top League title in his first season.

ronan-ogara-and-dan-carter Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO Carter pictured with Ronan O'Gara in New Zealand last year. Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

However, the current Top League season has been cancelled and Carter confirmed that his time in Kobe is over as a result.

“I’ve gone a bit quiet since the JRFU announced they are cancelling all their competitions this season,” wrote Carter on Instagram.

“I know it’s the right decision with what the world is going through at the moment but I would have loved to try help my Kobe Steelers family win another Top League, and I’m gutted I can’t do this.

“I want to thank the club, fans and my team-mates for welcoming me and making the last two seasons some of the most enjoyable rugby I have ever played.

“The club’s future is looking very bright, and I’m glad I got to add my little piece to the Kobe Steelers legacy.”

Carter turned 38 last month but could yet play on depending on when rugby returns.

Capped 112 times by New Zealand, Carter remains the all-time leading point scorers in Test rugby with 1598.

dan-carter-training-at-his-home Photosport / Brett Phibbs/INPHO Carter training at home in New Zealand during the lockdown. Photosport / Brett Phibbs/INPHO / Brett Phibbs/INPHO

Having spent most of his club career with the Crusaders – aside from a brief stint in Perpignan – Carter moved to France to join Racing 92 after the 2015 World Cup and then signed for the Steelers three seasons later.

Carter’s CV is truly glittering. At club level, he won three Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders, five NPCs with Canterbury, Top 14 crowns with both Perpignan and Racing, and the Top League title in Japan.

At Test level, Carter has helped New Zealand to two World Cup successes, nine Rugby Championship titles, and a resounding series victory against the Lions in 2005.

Among his array of individual awards are three World Rugby player of the year gongs from 2005, 2012 and 2015.

It will be intriguing to find out what is next for Carter, who is sure to have plenty of suitors if he does decided to play on.

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