Carter bids to quit European action with a bang

2018-05-11 08:28
Dan Carter (Getty)

Bilbao - Dan Carter will be hoping to bow out with a winner's medal when he brings the curtain down on his European rugby adventure as his Racing 92 team take on Leinster in the Champions Cup final on Saturday. 

Carter, now 36, racked up a world record 1,598 points in 112 Tests for the All Blacks, with a winning percentage of 88.4 percent. 

The former Crusader has two Rugby World Cups to his name and is an icon in world rugby, but humility remains his calling card, with Racing still in the hunt for the Top 14 title. 

"You're never too experienced to practice the fundamentals of the game," Carter tweeted on Thursday alongside a photo of him passing a ball in training. 

The Kiwi will hope to have a more successful run-out at Bilbao's San Mames stadium than he did for Racing in the 2016 final in Lyon won by Saracens. 

Carter risked a calf injury for that match, a move that badly backfired as he limped off early in the second half having been outplayed by Owen Farrell. 

Carter is likely to start on the bench on Saturday, Springbok Pat Lambie having been given the nod for the No 10 shirt. 

"It's really nice to have him on the same side and to have trained and played with him, seen how he does things and speak to him about the game and life outside rugby as well," Lambie said of a player who will head for a club career in Japan at the end of this season. 

"These are his last games - there's a lot to play for. I know this is a huge desire of his to win the Champions Cup and I'm sure he wants to win the Top 14 again as well." 

Lambie and Carter will be up against a strong Leinster team marshalled by Jonny Sexton, an influential game breaker who will no doubt be the target of some early 10-12 channel charges by Racing forwards. 

Leinster are unbeaten in European competition this season, with eight wins from eight including an impressive 30-19 quarter-final victory over 2017 winners Saracens and a 38-16 defeat of Scarlets in the last four. 

"We were pretty clinical [against Scarlets] but I like to think we have another gear in us," said Leinster flank Dan Leavy. 

"We looked at each other in the changing room after the Scarlets match and thought we could go to the next level. 

"Racing are a great team and are packed full of big names. The strength in depth is incredible and they have the best defence in the Top 14. 

"If we are going to beat them, we will need to find that extra gear against them."

Read more on:    racing 92  |  dan carter  |  rugby


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