Man of the Match - Dan Carter

Dan Carter has signed a four-year contract to continue playing for the All Blacks, but left the door wide open for a move to a big French club but inserting a clause allowing him to take  a sabbatical.

“This has been an incredibly important decision for me personally and I have received some significant offers to play overseas which were both flattering and tempting,” Carter said.

“But in the end the overriding factor for me was the All Blacks jersey.

“The more I thought of potentially playing overseas and not being able to represent my country and wear that black jersey was pretty challenging – it’s a big reason for me staying.

“I realise that it is not a given to be playing for the All Blacks and there a number of young guys coming through who in the next couple of years will be in their prime so that’s a wee challenge that I’m looking forward to.”

Carter added:  “Obviously we’ve got a big year ahead, but to know I’ve got that security of four years to another World Cup is good, although a lot can happen along the way,” he added.

NZRU chief executive, Steve Tew was delighted with the new deal saying: “We’ve said all along we can’t compete on the numbers with international offers.

“Dan’s made a sharp point for all of us in that the jersey is pretty important in his decision so our policy to retain the rule to be selected for the All Blacks you have to be here playing in our domestic competitions is pretty important.”