| 9.4°C Dublin

Carter signs All Blacks deal

The All Blacks' talismanic fly-half Dan Carter has signed a four-year contract to stay in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Rugby Union had been desperately trying to keep Carter in the country and admitted they were "flexible" with the player, who had been courted by a number of overseas clubs.

The 29-year-old is set to remain with the Crusaders, as well as the All Blacks, until the 2015 World Cup, with the contract including an option allowing him a sabbatical.

This could mean Carter playing in Europe in the off-season, as he has done in France previously.

Carter said: "It's been a tough decision. I'm relieved and really excited about re-signing with New Zealand -- it's a special moment.

"I guess the underlining factor is the black jersey. It means a lot to me and the more I thought about potentially playing overseas, and not being able to represent my country and wear that black jersey, was pretty challenging."

Carter, the most capped All Black first five-eighth with 79 Tests, said the 2015 World Cup was also a big temptation.

Irish Independent