Wire Service
4 minute read
20 Feb 2021
11:45 am

All Blacks legend Dan Carter retires: Five career highlights


Carter played the first of his 112 Tests for New Zealand in 2003, scored a record 1,598 points during his international career and was the world player of the year in 2005, 2012 and 2015.

Dan Carter, sitting in the change-room of Southbridge rugby club, where it all started for the legendary All Blacks star. Picture: Getty Images

All Blacks legend Dan Carter, a three-time world player of the year and double World Cup-winner, announced his retirement on Saturday.

The flyhalf, who remains the record points-scorer in both Test and Super Rugby, said he was “sad” to call it quits.

“I’m officially retiring from professional rugby,” the 38-year-old wrote on Instagram.

“A sport I’ve played for 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today.”


Carter played the first of his 112 Tests for New Zealand in 2003, scored a record 1,598 points during his international career and was the world player of the year in 2005, 2012 and 2015.

He lifted the World Cup in 2011 and again in 2015, before retiring from Test rugby and joining French club Racing 92. He then signed a two-year deal with Kobe Steelers in 2018.

The South Island native has three Super Rugby titles from his 13-year stint with the Canterbury Crusaders and remains the competition’s top points-scorer with 1,708.

“For now, I’m sad to walk away from playing but the timing is right. Rugby will always be a part of my life,” Carter wrote.

‘The Perfect 10’: Highlights

All Blacks v British & Irish Lions, 2nd Test, July 2 2005

Already an established All Black, Carter announced himself as a rugby superstar in the second Test against the Lions in Wellington.

Carter scored 33 points in the 48-18 victory, bagging two tries, four conversions and five penalties to seal the series for the home team.

It was a performance that saw Carter hailed as “The Perfect 10”, cementing him as New Zealand’s first-choice flyhalf for the next decade and sending his profile into the stratosphere.

Dan Carter

Dan Carter, the All Black flyhalf, moves away from Gareth Thomas during the second Test against the British and Irish Lions at the Westpac Stadium on July 2, 2005 in Wellington. Picture: Getty Images

All Blacks v Australia, World Cup final, 2015

Carter displayed indifferent form in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup but hit his straps during the tournament, culminating in a man-of-the-match performance against Australia in the final.

Carter ran the Wallabies ragged in the decider at Twickenham and claimed a 19-point haul in the 34-17 victory.

To cap it off, he kicked his final conversion of the match with his wrong foot – his right – in response to a dare from teammate Aaron Smith.

All Blacks v Wales, June 21, 2003

Announcing his international retirement five years ago, Carter nominated his All Blacks debut against Wales in 2003 as a career highlight.

He scored a try, kicked six conversions and a penalty in the 55-3 win, but said it was about more than the points on the board.

“It’s such a dreamlike situation, your first All Blacks jersey, the whole country grows up wanting to earn one, and here was mine,” he later said.

Dan Carter

All Black Dan Carter slides into score a try on debut against Wales at the Waikato Stadium. Picture: Getty Images

Crusaders v Highlanders, April 14, 2007

Carter’s outrageous skills were on display when the he completed a seemingly impossible conversion that became known as “the boomerang kick” in a 2007 Super Rugby match.

Taken from the sideline, it initially looked like Carter had shanked his attempt wide but the velocity and spin he put on the ball saw it veer sharply at the last moment and sail through the posts.


All Blacks v France, Rugby World Cup, September 24, 2011

The 2011 World Cup is probably not Carter’s favourite memory as he was ruled out of the tournament early with a groin injury sustained during training.

But it provided him with his first winner’s medal and his display against France in the pool stages showed how important he was for the host nation.

Carter set up two tries as the New Zealanders won at a canter 37-17 against a bogey team that had eliminated them in 1999 and 2007.

His absence was sorely felt in the final, when the All Blacks again faced Les Bleus but this time limped home against 8-7 in a nervy display.

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