Dan Carter’s trumpeted return to Top 14 side until the end of the season is off after the player failed a medical, it has been revealed.
Carter signed for his former club on a medical joker deal in mid-February as a replacement for Pat Lambie, who had been forced to retire on medical grounds following a series of concussions. According to reports in France, the short-term contract was set to make him between €25,000 and €35,000 a month.
But, following Racing’s seven-try 50-14 Top 14 win over La Rochelle on Saturday, the club issued a short statement confirming that the two-time World Cup champion would not be joining them after all following his recent stint in the Japan league.
“As part of routine medical checks prior to the approval of players’ licences, Racing 92 forwarded certain medical information to experts appointed by the Ligue National de Rugby (LNR). Their opinion was unanimous: Dan Carter will not be able to play rugby in France,” the terse statement said.
The decision means that Carter will miss out on one final chance to claim a European title. Earlier reports on Saturday had suggested that he was expected to arrive at Racing 92’s Plessis-Robinson training ground around March 10. That arrival date would have meant he was available for the club’s home Champions Cup quarter-final against French rivals Toulouse at the end of the month.
Carter had initially joined Racing after helping New Zealand to the 2015 World Cup, and in 2016 guided the club to their first Top 14 title in 26 years at the first time of asking. That same season, he had missed out on playing in the Champions Cup final against Saracens through injury.
Another injury meant he missed out on Racing’s second Champions Cup final in three years, when he was forced to withdraw from their squad ahead of the final against Leinster in Bilbao in 2018.