9 Dec 2008

Carter's sabatical officially underway

5:59 pm on 9 December 2008

The most talked-about sabbatical in world rugby has officially begun.

All Blacks first five Dan Carter has taken part his first training session with French side Perpignan, starting a six-month contract with the Catalan club.

He will make his debut against Leicester Tigers in a home European Cup match on Monday.

Carter says while the team goals are to win the Top 14 competition in France and reach the latter stages of the Heineken Cup he's particularly looking forward to the challenge of playing in a compeition he's unfamiliar with.

Carter will line up against former Crusaders and All Blacks teamate Aaron Mauger who's playing for Leceister.

Carter will be with Perpignan untl the end of May when he will return to New Zealand for the All Blacks' home tests against France and Italy in June.