18 May 2011

Dan Carter to stay in New Zealand

7:04 pm on 18 May 2011

All Black Dan Carter has announced that he will remain in New Zealand after the Rugby World Cup.

The player, who has been called the best first five-eighth in the world, made the announcement at a news conference in Christchurch on Wednesday.

He has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union and will continue to play in New Zealand for the next four years.

The 29-year-old has received a number of lucrative offers to play overseas following the Rugby World Cup which begins in September, but says his main reason for staying is to continue playing for the All Blacks.

"The more I thought about potentially playing overseas and not being able to represent my country and wear that black jersey - that was pretty challenging."

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew says the organisation had been flexible in its approach in securing Carter, building in options to his contract for an extended break from the game if he wishes, whether that be a break from rugby or to play overseas.

Mr Tew would not reveal the value of the contract, but says the union could not compete with the overseas offers.

He says Carter's decision to stay in New Zealand reiterates the importance of the Rugby Union's policy that All Blacks be based in the country.

Carter says he has not decided where or when he will take the time off.

His last sabbatical at French club Perpignan did not last long, as he suffered an Achilles tendon injury shortly after arriving on a seven-month contract reportedly worth $1.4 million.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry says Carter is the best player in the world in his position and one of the best to have ever worn the All Blacks jersey.

"He is a tremendous ambassador for the All Blacks and our national game and fans both here in New Zealand and overseas will be celebrating his re-signing," a statement from Henry says.

Carter has played 79 tests and scored 1188 test points. He made his All Blacks debut at the age of 21 in June 2003.