All Blacks great Dan Carter has formally parted ways with the Kobe Kobelco Steelers, the Japan Top League club confirmed on Friday.
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Carter, a two-time Rugby World Cup winner, had already bid rugby fans in Japan a subtle farewell in mid-April via Instagram, paying tribute to his brief time with the Steelers at the end of the truncated domestic season.
The three-time World Rugby Player of the Year made a big impact in Kobe, leading the club to the Top League championship in 2018/19, a first triumph since the 2003/04 campaign. That first season also saw him named Top League MVP and Top Kicker.
This year's season, delayed to allow players a break following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was cut short after only six rounds were played due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Carter, now 38, is arguably rugby's finest ever player. He played 141 Super Rugby matches for the Crusaders and 112 Tests for the All Blacks.
He is the record points scorer in both Super Rugby (1 708) and Test match rugby (1 598).