New Zealand Rugby
Carter stays loyal to Canterbury
June 16, 2009
Dan Carter will be back in the red of the Crusaders next season © Getty Images
All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter has ended speculation about his playing future by re-signing a two-year deal with Canterbury and the Crusaders. Carter recently returned to New Zealand after an ill-fated sabbatical with French champions Perpignan - an Achilles injury ending his stay after only five games.
Carter's signature was actively sought by Auckland and the Blues - where Carter has a home - but their huge offer was not enough to counter Carter's loyalty to Canterbury.
"We are absolutely delighted to be able to re-sign Dan until after the next Rugby World Cup," said Canterbury chief Hamish Riach. "While there has been intense media speculation about Dan's future provincial union, our discussions have been positive and constructive throughout and have lead to this agreement today. Dan is obviously a world class player and it will be fantastic to have him back. It is quite simply tremendously good news for all who care about Canterbury and Crusaders rugby."
Carter was instrumental in the Crusaders' dominance of the Super 14 under coach Robbie Deans and will continue his recovery from injury with Canterbury.
"Christchurch has always been home for me, so it's great to have re-signed with Canterbury rugby through to 2011," said Carter. "I'm looking forward to playing in a red and black jersey again and being part of the province that has given my rugby so much.
"The main reason I have stayed with Canterbury is because I am a born-and-bred Cantabrian."
Should Auckland have pulled off their coup it would have been a huge fillip to the Blues, who once again endured a frustrating and ultimately disappointing Super 14 campaign under coach Pat Lam. The franchise has also lost fly-half Jimmy Gopperth to a contract in Europe with Newcastle Falcons.
"It was always a long shot," admitted ARU chief executive Andy Dalton. "We knew we would have to put a bid that could get him over the emotional aspect. There was always going to be a very strong ties to Christchurch to Canterbury and the Crusaders and in the end his loyalty to that organisation was the deciding factor for him. We commend him for that and move on."