French clubs chase All Blacks first-five Carter

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 10:53 21/12/2012
Dan Carter
Getty Images
GET CARTER: French clubs Toulon and Racing Metro are among the first to offer All Blacks first-five Dan Carter prospective deals for a sabbatical from NZ rugby in coming years.

Related Links

Carter pips McCaw for IRB player of the year Dan Carter fails to make Tremain shortlist Carter excited about impending fatherhood Dan and Honor Carter expecting child Dan Carter has no plans for second OE All Black Dan Carter makes Twitter debut

Relevant offers

All Blacks

'Frustrated' lock Dominic Bird still chasing World Cup dream with All Blacks All Blacks selector Grant Fox backs Dan Carter and Richie McCaw as RWC looms Julian Savea, Brodie Retallick sign with NZ Rugby until 2019 Concussion set to sideline Crusaders No 8 Kieran Read for Hurricanes encounter All Blacks Julian Savea and Brodie Retallick set to re-sign with NZ Rugby for another four years Dan Carter ponders career for American audience Reason: Officials potentially biggest impediment to All Black glory New Zealand Rugby fights Brazil clothing company over use of fern Charles Piutau blocked from Blues next year to avoid dangerous precedent issue All Blacks bolters - ranking the top five contenders for Rugby World Cup spot

Wealthy French clubs Toulon and Racing Metro are reportedly vying for All Blacks star Dan Carter in a deal that would make him the highest-paid player in the game.

Carter, recently named the IRB's player of the year, has a sabbatical built into his current New Zealand contract and it looks like he could make a fortune out of it.

The Rugby Paper in England suggested current negotiations could see Carter take his break after next year's end of year tour of Europe. That would see him miss the 2014 Super Rugby championship and the June internationals.

Carter hasn't hidden his desire to return to Europe for a playing stint after his last effort with Perpignan was cut short because of an Achilles injury.

The Rugby Paper said Racing Metro president Jacky Lorenzetti was a long-term admirer of Carter reportedly offering him a £4m (NZ$7.8 million), three-year contract after the World Cup but now Toulon's own multi-millionaire owner, Mourad Boudjellal, has entered the fray.

With England star Jonny Wilkinson's playing days at Toulon now numbered, there will be a vacancy in the No 10 jersey there.

Given his status, Carter could probably name his price.

A source told The Rugby Paper: "Boudjellal has been in contact with Dan's representatives so it will probably come down to a bidding war between them and Metro.

"Metro really want to bring him over and what they have in their favour is that Carter (right) is set to have a young family and Paris would be very attractive in that regard."

But Toulon have the advantage of Heineken Cup action while Racing Metro are currently struggling in France's Top 14 championship.

The French won't be the only clubs hunting Carter with wealthy Japanese outfits also likely to be sniffing around.

The big question for the 30-year-old will be whether to use the sabbatical to play and earn extra or take a complete break like his good friend and captain Richie McCaw is now doing with a six-month stint on the sidelines to freshen up.

Carter's skills aren't diminishing as age catches up on him but he appears to be more susceptible to injuries, taking tow enforced breaks during this year's test programme.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content