Dan Carter: I’m not going to flee to New Zealand
PARIS, France-April 13: 3:11pm(NZ Herald): Dan Carter says despite a rollercoaster season with Racing 92, he’s not going to cut his contract short and head back to New Zealand.
Carter, who is in the second year of a lucrative three-season contract said to be worth $NZ2 million annually, has told French publication Lefigaro he not “flee to New Zealand” when asked about Racing 92’s up and down start to the latest season in France.
After claiming the Top 14 title and reaching the European Rugby Champions Cup final last season, the Paris club have struggled for consistency this season. The side currently sit in sixth on the table, 26 points behind league leaders La Rochelle, and failed to get out of pool play in the Champions Cup.
Off the field Carter was cleared of any wrong-doing after returning a positive sample for corticoids before being arrested for drink-driving in Paris in February.
Despite what he described as a ‘rollercoaster’ season, Carter confirmed to Lefigaro that he was committed to his contract.
“No, I’m happy here,” he said.
“We had things written that I was not happy here, but that is not the case. I feel good here. I love what I am living in France. Everyone is very kind and attentive to me and my family. Sure, my life is different from the one I had in New Zealand. But I appreciate my life here and my contract ends at the end of next season. I’m not going to flee to New Zealand.”
Last month Racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti accused Carter of partying too much saying “Perhaps today he is too much solicited from right and left by too many public relations operations.”
Carter refuted those comments saying his commitments in France are no different to what he had to do during in New Zealand playing days.
“This is nothing new compared to what I was doing in New Zealand. When we are All Black, we sometimes have commitments twice a week for sponsors. Whether for New Zealand Rugby or the Crusaders … Sometimes it’s even just before a test-match with the All Blacks.”
“So it’s not something I’m not used to. I take pleasure in representing my partners and assuming my role as ambassador. This is not new, I know how to handle this. This has no effect on my game.”
Racing face Toulouse this weekend in a game which Carter describes as the most important of the season. Despite La Rochelle running away at the top of the table there are just four points that separate fourth place to 12th as the battle for the quarter-final positions heat up.
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