Carter eyes a shot at history
Dan Carter is inspired by another late shot at history as he lines up for French club Racing 92 in this weekend’s European Champions Cup semifinals.
The glamour Paris club take on Irish heavyweights Munster in Bordeaux on Sunday (Monday NZT).
Racing have never won the major European title. Neither has Carter and he knows this is his last chance as he prepares to head to the Japanese scene at the end of the season to finish his illustrious career.
‘‘It’s huge – not only for me, but for the team,’’ Carter, 36, said of the semifinal.
‘‘I love having history and doing things that no teams have done before. If you look back at Racing 92’s history and how rare it is to make a final in Europe, we were lucky enough to do it a couple of years ago, so we’d love to go one step further.
‘‘[But] we realise that we can’t look too far ahead. We’ve got quality opposition in front of us, so we’ll enjoy this moment and make sure that we continue to work hard to give ourselves the best chance to make the final.’’
Carter, still test rugby’s top scorer, who won everything with the All Blacks and achieved plenty with Canterbury and the Crusaders, has won a French title with Racing but was part of their team that lost the 2015-16 European final to Saracens in his first season with the club.
Carter has made 16 appearances in the European Cup and scored 104 points. All have been for Racing, apart from the one game he played for Perpignan during an All Blacks sabbatical season in 2008, when he kicked 16 points against Leicester Tigers.
Racing and Munster have played each other twice this season, sharing the pool matches one each.
Carter is joined by fellow Kiwis Casey Laulala, Ben Tameifuna, Anthony Tuitavake, Joe Rokocoko and So’otala Fa’aso’o in the Racing squad.
Munster have former Chiefs hooker Rhys Marshall and former Crusader first-five Tyler Blayendaal in their squad.
Irish outfit Leinster and Scarlets, the Welsh club coached by Kiwi Wayne Pivac, clash in the other semifinal, played on Sunday (NZT).
Leinster have former Chiefs wing James Lowe on their books, along with evergreen Kiwi Isa Nacewa, while former Crusaders wing Johnny McNicholl is with the Scarlets.
Dan Carter is eager to bow out of France on the highest note possible as his Racing 92 club eyes the business end of the European Champions Cup.