“I’ve thought about this on so many occasions but today is the day and I am very grateful that I can do it on my terms. I’m officially retiring from professional rugby,” Carter said in a post on Instagram.
“A sport I’ve played for 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 – from my team-mates, opponents, coaching and management teams, sponsors and in particular you, the fans.
“A special mention to my friends and family who have supported and guided me through my career. Mum and Dad, thank you for everything you have sacrificed for me.
“My wife Honor for being my rock and allowing me to fulfil my dreams while raising our beautiful family – I can’t thank you enough.
“I’m excited about my next chapter in life and what that will look like. For now, I’m sad to walk away from playing but the timing is right. Rugby will always be a part of my life. Thank you.”
International referee Nigel Owens was among many from the rugby world who paid tribute to the former New Zealand number ten.
The Welshman refereed Carter’s final game for the All Blacks in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final win over Australia.
“You will be remembered as one of the greatest ever, but more importantly, not just on the field but off it as well,” Owens said on Twitter.
“A true gentleman. It was always a pleasure and privilege. Best wishes for the future.”
You will be remembered as one of the greatest ever, but more importantly, not just on the field but off it as well. A true gentleman. It was always a pleasure and privilege. Best wishes for the future.
Former South African winer Bryan Habana led the tributes from ex-players and rivals of Carter throughout his career.
“Congrats on an incredible career @DanCarter,” The Springbok tweeted.
“Congrats Dan Carter on an awesome career. It was a privilege to play alongside you so many times. Enjoy the next chapter mate,” former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said on Facebook.
“Not a bad shift mate! Catch up soon for a drink.. You bring the cups, we all know you have enough,” Carter’s former Australian rival Drew Mitchell tweeted.
“Congrats mate on an amazing career. Was a huge honour to play against u as many times a I did. Was less of an honour to lose that many times as well Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joy Congrats again, enjoy retirement, well earned,” Wallaby star Matt Giteau tweeted.
“Congratulations Dezzy! Was an honour to share the field, both playing against you and playing alongside you. While in Kobe, it was very easy to see why you were one of the greats! Enjoy the next chapter brother x,” Australian back Adam Ashley-Cooper tweeted.