Dan Carter

Dan Carter reflects on career after retiring: Not bad for a 'little bogan from Southbridge'

Not bad for a "young little bogan from Southbridge".

Rugby icon Dan Carter, arguably the greatest player in the history of the game, has expanded on his reasons for retirement in an exclusive interview on the first edition of Stan Sports' Rugby Heaven show on Tuesday night.

The All Blacks legend called time on his fairytale career on Saturday after winning two Rugby World Cups and finishing streets ahead as the leading point scorer in test history (1598, next best is Jonny Wilkinson with 1246).

'A near faultless player' - How the rugby world is reacting to Dan Carter's retirement

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.

Dan Carter confirms retirement from rugby

The 38-year-old, with 112 test caps to his name, played his last test in 2015 when he produced a man-of-the-match display to help the All Blacks to victory over Australia in the World Cup final.

The Canterbury first-five was also part of the New Zealand team that won the 2011 edition of the tournament, though he missed the final after tearing his groin tendon.

He leaves the game as the highest point scorer in test rugby with 1598, more than 350 points clear of England's Jonny Wilkinson.

"I officially retire from professional rugby today," Carter wrote on Twitter.

Leon MacDonald lifts lid on Dan Carter's playing future with the Blues

Carter signed for the Blues last season but didn’t end up getting any playing time thanks to the Covid-enforced cancellation of the final Super Rugby Aotearoa clash against the Crusaders, where he was set to make his debut.

While there was never really an expectation that Carter would return as a player to the franchise, it didn’t stop MacDonald from trying to persuade the 38-year-old to return once again.

Dan Carter reveals his formula for beating negativity

The 38-year-old Carter has started a #keeptheballgoing social media campaign that encourages people to check in on three of their friends to "keep the conversation going" about mental health.

While Carter has achieved virtually everything in the game, including winning two World Cups and three world player of the year titles, his career has also had some difficult lows, particularly around injuries.

He said the groin injury that prematurely ended his 20121 World Cup at home had been particularly testing.

Former All Black Dan Carter gets growing with Movember

But the former All Blacks star was facing one of his toughest challenges this month - growing a moustache to raise awareness about mental health.

"I can't grow a strong mo' (moustache)," Carter, who normally only has to shave about twice a week, said on Thursday.

"I have done bits and pieces over the years but never committed to growing one for a month.

"It's been just over a week and it's pathetic really."

'It took a bit of convincing': Dan Carter sheds light on decision to join Blues

Carter, 38, bowed out of international rugby after leading the All Blacks to victory at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the three-time World Rugby Player of the Year then spent three seasons in Paris with Racing 92 before joining the Kobelco Steelers in Japan in 2018.

However, the global Covid-19 pandemic put an early end to domestic rugby in Japan in 2020 and Carter decided to return to New Zealand to take up a role with the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Dan Carter recognises 'old-man calves' may prevent Blues appearance

The 112-test former All Blacks first five, 38, signed for the Blues as injury cover and had been pencilled in on their bench for a 18 July match with the Wellington Hurricanes. Carter, however, suffered a calf strain and was forced to withdraw from the matchday squad.

In a social media Q&A session, he said his expectations of getting game time had been low in any case before the injury.

"I wasn't really expecting to (play) to be honest, unless there was an injury to Beauden (Barrett) or Otere (Black)," Carter said.

Carter pulled from Blues line-up

"He's pulled up a bit tight," Blues coach Leon MacDonald said.

"It's nothing too major but we want to make sure we don't risk anything with Dan.

"With calves, if you get on top of them early, it can take a couple of days to come right, but if you're a little bit late it can be three to four weeks, so it makes sense just to look after him."

Carter's withdrawal means the full glare of the spotlight will be back on Beauden Barrett, who is returning to Wellington for the first time since his move from the Hurricanes to the Blues.

All Blacks great Dan Carter to play club rugby for Southbridge on Saturday

The new Blues recruit will make the most of the Blues' bye weekend to travel to Canterbury and turn out for his beloved Southbridge club on Saturday.

Carter will pull on the No. 10 jersey at Southbridge Domain against West Melton.

A club spokesperson confirmed Carter's availability for the game on Tuesday evening.

Carter last played for Southbridge in 2014.

His rugby return marks the first major step in his aim to be ready to take on his old team the Crusaders in Christchurch on July 11, in what would be his Blues debut.