The legendary out-half, who played 112 times for the All Blacks, turned 38 in March and fans will now wonder if the curtain has fallen on a stellar career where he featured for the Crusaders, Perpignan and Racing 92 before joining the Top League.
“I’ve gone a bit quiet since the JRU announced they are cancelling all their competitions this season,” wrote Carter on his social media account. “I know it’s the right decision with what the world is going through at the moment but I would have loved to try help my @kobelcosteelers_official family win another top league, and I’m gutted I can’t do this.
“I want to thank the club, fans and my team-mates for welcoming me and making the last two seasons some of the most enjoyable rugby I have ever played. The clubs future is looking very bright, and I’m glad I got to add my little piece to the @kobelcosteelers_official legacy. #kobelcosteelers #rugby.”
Carter was one of the growing Japanese league’s biggest signings and the 2020 season had been shaping up to be its most popular yet as the tournament had attracted a whole host of other stars – such as fellow New Zealander Kieran Read – who had stayed on in the country following their participation in the recent World Cup finals which had put rugby centre stage.
It was 2003 when Carter first made his breakthrough, jumping through the ranks at the Super Rugby Crusaders and going on to make his All Blacks debut that same year. Now, 17 years later, he appears to have called time on a career that will be fondly remembered.