All Blacks legend Daniel Carter has played down reports of a possible return to Super Rugby with the Highlanders, saying he'd rather take more family time than done the blue and gold in 2019.
The southern Super Rugby franchise is weighing up its first-five options for next year with playmaker Lima Sopoaga headed to the UK to play for Wasps.
While Bryn Gatland and Josh Ioane will be at the Highlanders in 2019, it has also been rumoured players such as Carter and former Wallaby Quade Cooper were being pursued as a third option.
However the 36-year-old, who is playing for the Kobe Steelers currently, told Stuff he isn't looking to return to Super Rugby.
"I hadn't actually thought about it. Hayden Parker, he's in the same team as me, we were away on camp, and he read something about me going down there and that was the first I'd heard about it.
"I think I'd prefer after the Japanese season to spend a bit of time with my family, rather than play another Super Rugby season."
Carter left New Zealand after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, having made 141 appearances for the Crusaders and holds the all-time points (1,708) and conversions (185) in the competition in 12 season of playing.