All Black Dan Carter to take six-month sabbatical from rugby
Last Updated: 19/08/13 11:08am
Dan Carter to take a six-month break from rugby
New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter will take a six-month sabbatical following the All Blacks' European tour this autumn.
The 31-year-old, who is contracted with New Zealand rugby until the end of 2015, will sit out the majority of the next year's Super 15 season with the Crusaders.
After 95 Tests and 11 Super Rugby campaigns, Carter said the extended break would allow him the chance to focus on his preparations for the next World Cup.
"Ultimately, I want to play in the next Rugby World Cup in 2015. To do that, it's important that I put myself in the best possible position, both physically and mentally," said Carter, who has played over 100 Tests for his country.
"When you play the game full-time at this level it does take a toll on your body. I've had a few injury niggles over recent years, so I'm keen to ensure I do everything I can to recover fully from those and prolong my career."
Carter's choice mirrors that of All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who played his last Test against England in December.
Aaron Cruden, who proved an able deputy during this year's 3-0 clean sweep of France, is tipped to fill Carter's boots, with Beauden Barrett as his deputy.
"The extended break will allow Dan to do all the things he needs to do to give himself a chance to appear at the Rugby World Cup, and that's a huge positive for both us and him," New Zealand coach Steve Hansen added.