All Blacks superstar Dan Carter is hoping to replicate the success of another fly-half hero, Jonny Wilkinson, after his move to Racing 92.
The back-to-back Rugby World Cup winner jetted into Paris last week to be unveiled by his new club. Wilkinson made a similar move after ending his international career by joining an RC Toulon side who had then never lifted European silverware. Racing are also searching for their first continental honours after a quarter-final appearance last season. Wilkinson finished his playing career with a pair of European Cup winners medals, and Carter is hoping for similar success at the Top14 side.
He said: “I can only dream of the success that Jonny had in his time here in France. That would be amazing. He won multiple European championships, he won the Top 14 too and he had an amazing time here in France.
“When I was following the end of his career, I took inspiration from that. A lot of people had probably written him off up until then but it revived his career and he finished on a real high.”
This is not Carter’s first taste of Top14 action. He made the move to Perpignan back in 2008, but injury curtailed his French adventure after just five matches and one European appearance. But Carter is feeling more optimistic about his time in the French capital.
“It certainly has a different feel to it, the contract is longer and international rugby is behind me,” said Carter, who signed off for the All Blacks with a 19-point haul in the World Cup final against Australia just four weeks ago.
“That chapter of my life is closed. I did have a few doubts about my body at the start of the year but the World Cup has been so reassuring. I have high expectations every time I put on my boots. I love this game so much that I don’t want it to stop.”