Cape Town - New Zealand could lose a fair amount of experienced campaigners after next year's Rugby World Cup.
VIDEO: Carter announces NZ rugby departure
Veteran All Black flyhalf Dan Carter announced on Thursday that he would be joining French Top 14 club Racing Metro after next year's showpiece event in England and Wales.
Carter, 32, signed a three-year deal with the Paris-based club which will basically mean the end of his All Black career.
However, Carter may not be the only one to leave New Zealand shores.
According to the Stuff.co.nz website, skipper Richie McCaw, midfielders Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, veteran front-rowers Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu, loose forwards Jerome Kaino and Liam Messam and even Ben Franks, Cory Jane and Charlie Faumuina could also be considering high-paying, late-career stints overseas.
It would be the dawn of a new era for the All Blacks, who employ a policy of not picking players plying their trade outside New Zealand.
A possible loss of several key payers does not concern NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew though.
Tew made it clear that a cleanout of veteran players would not throw any sort of a wrench into coach Steve Hansen's works for 2016 and beyond. Succession planning, he said, was a big part of the thinking at head office.
"I'd like to think we're well advanced in that regard," said Tew.
"If you look at some of the talent backing up some of these jerseys, they'd probably now be 30, 40 or 50 tests in any other country.”The 2015 Rugby World Cup runs from September 18-October 31.
The All Blacks are the defending world champions and would become the first team to defend a Rugby World Cup title if they emerge victorious in next year's competition.