World Cup-winning All Blacks five-eighth Dan Carter, the top-scorer in international rugby with 1598 points, has retired from the sport aged 38.
Carter played his last Test at Twickenham in 2015 when he led New Zealand to victory over Australia in the final of that year’s World Cup.
He also was a member of the New Zealand team that won the 2011 edition of the tournament, though he was injured and did not play in the final.
His prolific point-scoring, array of skills and his comeback from a form slump to be named world player of the year in 2015 – for the third time – has led some to dub Carter the greatest No.10 in rugby history.
After his retirement from the All Blacks he played for three years for Racing 92 in Paris and for two seasons for the Kobe Steelers in Japan.
He returned to New Zealand last year with the Auckland Blues but did not feature in a Super Rugby Aotearoa match.
On Saturday, Carter told the New Zealand Herald in an exclusive interview he no longer had the motivation to push himself to succeed in New Zealand rugby.
“I play to be the best player out on the field,” Carter said.
“That is my drive and it always has been and I just didn’t have that drive back here in New Zealand.
“I had nothing to prove and nothing to get my motivation levels up to where they should have been to play against all those young bucks here.”
Carter said the disruption caused by COVID-19, which prevented him taking contracts overseas, had given him time to reflect on his career and future.
“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.