New Zealand’s Dan Carter, who won two World Cups and is world rugby’s record points scorer, has announced his retirement from professional rugby.
The fly-half, 38, won the last of his 112 All Blacks caps with a man-of-the-match display in the 2015 World Cup final win over Australia.
He has since played for French club Racing 92 and Japan’s Kobelco Steelers.
The three-time world player of the year returned to New Zealand for a brief spell with the Auckland Blues in 2020.
In an emotional post on Instagram, Carter wrote: “I’ve thought about this on so many occasions but today is the day and I am very grateful that I can do it on my terms.
“I’m officially retiring from professional rugby. 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. I’m excited about my next chapter in life and what that will look like.
“For now, I’m sad to walk away from playing but the timing is right. Rugby will always be a part of my life.”
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Carter said he had lost his motivation on his return home to play with the Blues in June 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The more I took time off the more I realised I didn’t want to play overseas and not having the drive to play here I knew in my mind the time was right,” he said.
Carter, who turned out for his childhood rugby club Southbridge in July, did not make an appearance for the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa last year.
His professional career started in 2002. He won three Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and is the competition’s record scorer, as well as winning league titles in Japan and France.
Carter also won the World Cup in 2011, but missed the latter stages of the competition because of a groin injury.
His 1,598 points in international rugby are 352 ahead of England’s Jonny Wilkinson, who Carter memorably came up against and defeated in the 2005 British and Irish Lions series.