World Rugby Player of the Year Carter was unveiled as a Racing player on Friday after helping the All Blacks retain the World Cup with a 34-17 win over Australia in the final last month. Carter is reportedly set to earn €1million per year at Racing, but his decision to move away from New Zealand has made him ineligible to play for the All Blacks.
“You can make pretty good money playing in New Zealand too, it’s not all bad,” Carter said.
“It depends what stage you’re at in your career. Because of that [higher salaries] it’s slightly more attractive to play in France, but the thing is you can’t play international rugby any more for the All Blacks and that’s why I stayed in New Zealand for 13 years.
“But the timing is right to try a new challenge, not just for rugby. It’s a pretty exciting place to bring your family for a few years.
“That debate [not being eligible for New Zealand if you play abroad] will always be there.
“Australia opened up the doors to bring players back, it’s the same in South Africa but there’s so much depth in New Zealand rugby that they don’t need players like me to come back.
“I’ve accepted the ruling and I’m happy to retire from international rugby and move onto this challenge.”
Carter enjoyed a six-month stint with Perpignan back in 2009, but was restricted to just five appearances after rupturing his Achilles tendon, leaving the fly-half reduced to the role of spectator as the Catalan club won the Top 14.
He added: “This time the contract is much longer; I’ve put international rugby behind me. Now I’m finished I can concentrate just on playing well for this team.
“It’s a slightly different challenge to the last time I was here but one I’m looking forward to.”