Pound for pound, New Zealand's Dan Carter is thought by many to be the greatest fly-half to have graced the game
Major teams: Canterbury, Crusaders, Perpignan, Racing Métro
Country: New Zealand
Test span: 2003-15
Test caps: 112 (106 starts)
Test points: 1,598 (29T, 293C, 281P, 8DG)
As a kicker, he has few peers. The stats speak for themselves: he has more than 3,000 points in the Test and domestic arena, is the world’s top international point-scorer, and has crossed the whitewash on 29 occasions.
After progressing through the age grades, Carter made his full debut at 21 playing in the centre against Wales, scoring 20 points, before vying with Carlos Spencer for the No 10 shirt at the 2003 World Cup.
He made the No 10 spot his own the following year and in 2005 led the All Blacks to a Lions series whitewash, playing what was thought to be the ‘perfect’ game in the second Test, when his 33-point haul included two tries and a bewitching array of skills. His game management, broken-field running and unerring boot simply overwhelmed Sir Clive Woodward’s men.
A superstar since his early twenties in his homeland, Carter’s only international blotches came at World Cups. A shock exit in 2007 was followed by a torn adductor injury in 2011 which caused him to missed the knockout stage. He has since righted those wrongs however, after leading New Zealand to their 2016 triumph at Twickenham, beating Australia 34-17 in the final.
Hugely marketable off the field – he is a part-time underwear model – Carter is lauded worldwide as a role model with a sublime skill-set. He can play at No 12, boasts a powerful fend, solid defence and astute kicking game. His talent has seen him twice win the highest individual honour in the game, being named World Player of the Year in 2005 and 2012.
Though his last few years have been plagued by niggling injuries, he remains a key part of Parisian giants Racing Metro.