Legendary former All Black, Dan Carter, was told that he will be officially inducted into the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) Hall of Fame at an RPA awards dinner, to be held in London on May 10.
This follows confirmation that he has been found not guilty of doping, along with Racing 92 teammates Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff, after being investigated by the French Anti-Doping Agency.
The 2016 final of the Top 14, against Toulon in Barcelona, was the match for which they were subsequently put under scrutiny for using corticosteroids.
Racing had publicly stated that they had medical clearance for such use.
The French Rugby Federation’s medical commission had already cleared the players, but the Anti-Doping Agency had the final say.
Carter has enjoyed an illustrious club career, which involved winning three Super Rugby titles with the Canterbury Crusaders in his native country and playing for Perpignan and Racing 92 in France.
Above that, though, is the legacy he leaves as international rugby’s top test point-scorer to date, with 1598 points in 112 appearances.
Many rugby fans will argue that he is one of greatest flyhalves ever, with his all-round ability, not only to score points but as a play-maker instrumental in the All Blacks’ glowing reputation as the most attacking side in international rugby.
The Carter-led All Black backline had acutely refined skills and flair, much envied by their opponents and very rarely overcome.
Carter was a key component of the team which downed the touring British and Irish Lions 3-0 in 2005.
In the Rugby World Cup, however, he had not enjoyed success until 2015, when he finally got to don a winner’s medal.
In 2007, he watched from the stands after being substituted, as France stunned the All Blacks in the ignominious quarter-final in Cardiff and disappointingly for him, injury cost him his place in the successful squad which won their home World Cup in 2011.
He remedied this in 2015 in England, being named man of the match in the final victory over Australia for his virtuoso performance, including scoring four penalties, two conversions and a drop goal in an orchestrated 34-17 humbling of Australia.
Carter will join, among others, Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson, Gareth Edwards and Brian O’Driscoll, in the Hall of Fame.
Carter said: “I’m honoured to be inducted into the RPA Hall of Fame alongside some true icons of the game. Rugby is the ultimate team sport, but to receive an accolade of this kind is both humbling and very satisfying.
“I’ve worked extremely hard throughout my career, so to be recognised by my peers in this way makes me feel immensely proud.”
Chief executive of the RPA, Damien Hopley, commended the three-time winner of the World Rugby Player of the Year award: “Dan has proven time and again to be one of the finest players and characters ever to play the game.
“As a World Cup winner and the all-time leading point scorer in international rugby, Dan is truly deserving of his place alongside the rugby icons in the RPA Hall of Fame.”
African News Agency