In the wake of his retirement from professional rugby, Dan Carter has named the top five players he shared a pitch with from his illustrious career.
There is very little that the All Blacks legend did not achieve during his international career, winning the Rugby World Cup twice, numerous Tri Nations and Rugby Championship titles and a Lions series.
Carter had plenty of success at club level too, winning three Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and a Top 14 title with Racing 92.
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
His achievements were recognised on an individual level as well, having won the World Rugby Player of the Year award on three occasions.
The Top Five
The New Zealander is without a doubt one of the most talented rugby players in the sport’s history and has come up against the best the world had to offer during his professional career.
“[Lomu] bowled me over about five metres when I tried to tackle him in one of my first games. A superstar. Gutted I never played with him.
“[Burger was] an absolute beast. I felt like I had a target on me every time I played the Springboks.
“[Dusatoir] had some blinding games in big moments — none more so than in the 2007 and 2011 World Cup games against the All Blacks.
“[Wilkinson was] someone I really looked up to and I tried to have a similar work ethic. The 2005 Lions tour was a bit of a fanboy moment for me.
“I learnt a lot from playing alongside my old mate [McCaw]. A real leader and took us to back-to-back World Cups. Thank God I was never on the opposite side,” Carter commented.
While Carter came up against a whole host of world class players during his career, it’s hard to argue that any of the five players chosen weren’t worthy of special recognition.