At 38, Carter’s retirement from the game will have surprised nobody, but it brings to an end an era in which the revered New Zealander walked the rugby world as a metaphorical god among men, the sport’s greatest of all time at 10.
Carter’s mark on the game will live on, but fans will no longer get the see him kick a ball in anger or fling an outrageous pass, at least not in a professional setting.
“I officially retire from professional rugby today. A sport I’ve played 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today. I can’t thank everyone who has played a part in my journey enough, particularly you, the fans. Rugby will always be a part of my life. Thank you,” wrote Carter.
The rugby world lavished praise on Canterbury’s finest.
Nigel Owens wrote: “You will be remembered as one of the greatest ever, but more importantly, not just on the field but off it as well. A true gentleman. It was always a pleasure and privilege. Best wishes for the future.”
Wallaby wing Drew Mitchell quipped: “Not a bad shift mate! Catch up soon for a drink.. You bring the cups, we all know you have enough.”
Commentator Nick Mullins summed it up well, posting: “Dan Carter’s retired. Shaped the sport like few others. Not sure how you define “the greatest”, but he may well have been.”
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont wrote: “End of an era. Dan Carter will be remembered as one of the greats, one of the very best. Outstanding on the biggest of stages & a super ambassador for the game. Enjoy your retirement."