Dan Carter has hung his boots up for good. Photo / Getty
By Ian Cameron for RugbyPass
The rugby world is entering a new reality, one in which Dan Carter is no longer a professional rugby player.
At 38, Carter’s retirement from the game will have surprised nobody, but it brings to an end an era in which the revered New Zealander walked the rugby world as a metaphorical god among men, the sport’s greatest of all time at 10.
Carter’s mark on the game will live on, but fans will no longer get the see him kick a ball in anger or fling an outrageous pass, at least not in a professional setting.
“I officially retire from professional rugby today. A sport I’ve played 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today. I can’t thank everyone who has played a part in my journey enough, particularly you, the fans. Rugby will always be a part of my life. Thank you,” wrote Carter.
The rugby world lavished praise on Canterbury’s finest.
Chief rugby writer for The Telegraph, Mick Cleary, ranked Carter at the top of the tree in a li of his greatest first-five eighths of all time, ahead of Barry John, Michael Lynagh, Jonathan Davies and Jonny Wilkinson.
“Dan Carter made it look easy. The anguish of striving for perfection may have been writ large across a Jonny Wilkinson – the inner torment, the whispering demons – but it never seemed that way for the man who surpassed him as the sport’s greatest ever points accumulator: 1,598 points in 112 tests, all grace under pressure, all slickness on the field of play.”
Cleary went on to say the 2015 Rugby World Cup triumph perfectly illustrated Carter’s ability to lift a team to success like no other.
“If the greats in history really can orchestrate life to suit a particular moment, then this was it. Carter penned his swansong to perfection.”
Commentator Nick Mullins summed it up well, posting: “Dan Carter’s retired. Shaped the sport like few others. Not sure how you define “the greatest”, but he may well have been.”
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont wrote: “End of an era. Dan Carter will be remembered as one of the greats, one of the very best. Outstanding on the biggest of stages & a super ambassador for the game. Enjoy your retirement.”