By Alan Dymock
TO BE fit for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Dan Carter has confirmed that he will take six months out of rugby in 2014.
The iconic fly-half has decided to emulate captain and close friend Richie McCaw who took a break after the All Black loss to England in December until the last two games of the Canterbury Crusaders season, by putting his feet up at the end of New Zealand’s European tour in November. Carter will be involved in the matches against France, England and Ireland before bowing out for six months.
Explaining his reasons for the break, Carter said: “Ultimately, I want to play in the next Rugby World Cup in 2015. To do that, it’s important that I put myself in the best possible position, both physically and mentally.
“When you play the game full-time at this level it does take a toll on your body. I’ve had a few injury niggles over recent years, so I’m keen to ensure I do everything I can to recover fully from those and prolong my career.”
There had been rumours that the stand-off could be planning a lucrative stint in Japan after the tour, during which he will most likely have comfortably surpassed 100 test caps. He has previous in terms of earning himself some extra money, having infamously moved to Perpignan for the 2008/09 season, but the big-money move (allegedly worth €700,000 for a seven-month contract) backfired for the club as Carter injured his Achilles tendon, meaning he only played a part in five games.
However, Carter has now put any Japanese stories to bed by stating he will be on the couch, resting his weary body. Does he like fishing? Who knows. The only certainty is that with a talent like Carter’s, the NZRFU should allow him to do what he wants before 2015. The All Blacks will cope with Aaron Cruden at the helm and the Crusaders have brought in Colin Slade from the Highlanders to keep Carter’s Super 15 spot warm.