27 Jun

Dan Carter set for sabbatical
by Tracey Nelson
27 Jun 2008

Dan Carter is to leave New Zealand at the end of the year to take up a six month sabbatical with French club Perpignan in the 2008/09 French Top 14 competition.

Assuming Carter is selected for the end of year Northern Hemisphere tour, he will carry on to France to take up a position with Perpignan. He will then return to New Zealand in June 2009 with the aim of re-securing his All Black jersey through until at least 2011, when New Zealand hosts the Rugby World Cup.

This announcement confirms the uptake of the “Carter Clause”, the NZRU’s offer of a six month sabbatical. Carter had been strongly linked with French club Toulon (currently coached by Tana Umaga) and confirmed he had been in discussions with them. However, Perpignan’s involvement in next year’s European Cup competition was the clincher.

In a statement released this afternoon Carter said I have done plenty of research on both Toulon and Perpignan and whilst I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed Toulon, in the end, Perpignan’s qualification for next year’s European Cup swayed my decision.”

I would like to thank the NZRU for offering me this unique opportunity. The All Black jersey is no one’s by right and I fully appreciate that I will have to continue to play well and prove myself if I am to be involved with the All Blacks next year and beyond. The 2011 Rugby World Cup is going to be a phenomenal event and my priority has always been to be available to take part in that.”

Carter also went on to say that there was a level of disappointment at not being able to be part of the Crusaders next year, and that it had probably been the hardest part of his decision to go offshore. He hopes to continue his association with the franchise on his return to New Zealand.

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