On Saturday, the curtain came down on one of the most decorated rugby careers in history as Dan Carter announced his playing days were over.
“I officially retire from professional rugby today,” Carter wrote on Twitter. “A sport I’ve played 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today.
I officially retire from professional rugby today. A sport I’ve played 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today. I can’t thank everyone who has played a part in my journey enough, particularly you, the fans. Rugby will always be a part of my life. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/HTJl85ZcRB— Dan Carter (@DanCarter) February 20, 2021
“I can’t thank everyone who has played a part in my journey enough, particularly you, the fans. Rugby will always be a part of my life. Thank you.”
Carter has been a ubiquitous presence in elite rugby over the past two decades, and excelled in the famous black of New Zealand between 2003-2015.
These are the numbers behind his test success.
1 - The only draw of Carter’s test career came at Suncorp Stadium on 20 October, 2012. In front of 51,888 fans in Brisbane, the fly-half kicked six penalties, but missed a late drop-goal attempt, as the All Blacks played out an 18-18 draw with Australia.
2 - Carter won successive Rugby World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015. Having suffered semi-final and quarter-final heartache in 2003 and 2007, injury limited Carter to two appearances as the All Blacks won RWC 2011 on home soil. Four years later, at England 2015, the playmaker started six of his side’s seven matches as they became the first team to lift the Webb Ellis Cup three times.
3 - World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year awards. Carter is one of only two players, alongside former All Blacks team-mate Richie McCaw, to have won it three times. He was also selected in the World Rugby Men's 15s Team of the Decade last year.
8 - Drop goals Carter slotted during his 12-year test career. His first put the seal on a 13-9 victory against Bledisloe Cup rivals Australia in 2006, and his last helped head off a Wallabies comeback towards the end of the RWC 2015 final.
10 - The number Carter wore on his back in 94 of his 112 test appearances, or 84 per cent of his matches in an All Blacks jersey. New Zealand failed to win only 12 of the matches Carter started at number 10, winning 87 per cent of the fixtures they contested with him at fly-half.
17 - Points Carter notched on his Rugby World Cup debut against Italy in Melbourne on 11 October, 2003. Playing inside-centre, he scored a try and slotted six conversions as New Zealand won 70-7.
20 - Carter made an instant impact on his test debut, against Wales on 21 June, 2003. Wearing the number 12 jersey, the playmaker contributed 20 points (a try, six conversions and a penalty) as the All Blacks won 55-3 at Waikato Stadium.
29 - Tries scored during his test career, at a rate of one every 3.86 matches. Carter scored his first try on debut against Wales, while his final international touch down came during a 49-3 defeat of Scotland in 2010.
33 - Carter’s most prolific international appearance came in the second test of the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005. He scored two of the All Blacks’ five tries, and added four conversions and five penalties to help his side to a 48-18 victory in Wellington.
82 - Points Carter scored as New Zealand won RWC 2015 in England. 19 of those came against the Wallabies in the final, his last ever test appearance.
99 - Carter finished his test career one win shy of a century of victories. The playmaker finished on the winning side in 88 per cent of his 112 All Blacks appearances.
191 - Points scored by Carter in his 16 Rugby World Cup appearances. That tally puts him fourth on the all-time list, behind Jonny Wilkinson (277), Gavin Hastings (227) and Michael Lynagh (195).
293 - Tries converted by Carter in his 112 tests, at an average of 2.6 conversions per match. The fly-half also notched 281 penalties during his 12-year All Black career.
366 - Carter’s points tally against Australia, 164 more than anyone else in history. He also holds the record for test points scored against England (178), France (163) and South Africa (255).
1,598 - Carter is the only player in rugby history to have scored more than 1,500 test points. His tally of 1,598 puts him 352 points ahead of Jonny Wilkinson (1,246) and 508 ahead of Neil Jenkins (1,090), who is third on the list. Carter averaged 14.3 points per test appearance.