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Dan Carter can 'reflect with pride' following retirement - McCaw

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw says Dan Carter can "reflect with pride" on the significant impact he has made on the sport.

Dan Carter with the Rugby World Cup Source: Photosport

By Adam Jacobson of rnz.co.nz

Carter announced yesterday that he is officially retiring from professional rugby after an illustrious 19-year career.

"It's one of those things which is inevitable at some point, that age comes, in a sport sense, and you can't play forever. But I think when you hear him announcing that the big thing you reflect on is the awesome career he has had," McCaw said.

The 38-year-old - with 112 test caps to his name - played his last test in 2015 when he produced a man-of-the-match display to help the All Blacks to victory over Australia in the World Cup final.

Carter leaves the game as the highest point scorer in test rugby with 1598, more than 350 points clear of England's Jonny Wilkinson.

He said Carter has "redefined" what it meant to play in the number 10 jersey.

"Often you see number 10, they are very, very good in one area - it might be the kicking side of things or it might be the running side of things - but he kind of had it all, all the aspects that he could be a real threat to the opposition. That's where he led the way as a number 10," McCaw said.

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Carter always put others ahead of himself both on and off the field, he said.

"When I was captain, having [Carter] at number 10, you know, how he controlled the game, ran the game, the way he did it and how he would put everyone at ease and give them what they needed to perform, I guess that's what I look back on most."

McCaw says it would be a disappointment if Carter were to leave rugby in all capacities, because it's not everyday that you find people with his "wealth of knowledge and experience just anywhere".