Paris - New
Zealand's Dan Carter will leave French Top 14 outfit Racing 92 and sign
a two-year contract with Japanese club Kobelco Steelers at the end of
the season, French media reported on Saturday.
The 35-year-old two-time World Cup winner told French sports daily L'Equipe he wanted to be closer to his native New Zealand.
"It's been a very tough decision, to leave my new friends and all my
team-mates and go play for Kobe Steel," said Carter, the highest points
scorer in Test match history, in an interview aired on Canal Plus on
"But Japan is a very exciting place to be right now, and an exciting place to play."
"It's also only one flight away from New Zealand and the way the
Japanese season is structured means I and my family will be able to
spend much more time in New Zealand," said Carter who played 112 times
for his nation.
"Rugby is going crazy in Japan and this is a very exciting challenge."
Kobelco Steelers are based in Kobe, and Carter's move will help raise
the profile of the sport in Japan before the country host the 2019
Suffering from various niggling injuries Carter has only played four times so far this season.
"Now that my mind is made up, I'm determined to get over this knee
injury because we want to win the Top14 and we want to win in Europe
too," he said.
"I hope to be playing again soon."
Now 35 the three-time winner of Rugby's world player of the year
Carter joined Racing in 2015, winning the prestigious Top 14 in his
But the global icon was also caught up in a drawn-out cortisone use
scandal dating from tests taken at the 2016 Top14 final. He was
In February, his image was further tarnished when he tested two-times
over the legal alcohol limit and was dropped by his sponsor Land Rover.