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Dan Carter: Honor stopped me from quitting rugby

The All Black star opens up about how his wife helped him refocus after a challenging setback
Dan Carter

It’s hard to believe it now, but Dan Carter has revealed there was a point when he seriously considered quitting the sport that made him a star.

In a new piece written for The Players’ Tribune, Dan says he was ready to retire from rugby just 15 months before this year’s thrilling World Cup tournament, where the All Blacks became victors for the second time in a row and Dan himself was named Man of the Match.

The Kiwi star had just returned from a six-month sabbatical following an injury-ridden 2013 rugby season. Two weeks before his first scheduled Test match with the All Blacks, he broke his leg – and that’s when he began to think about retirement.

“After spending six months dedicated to rebuilding myself, I was back where I started,” he wrote.

“It was clear that I was at a place where I had neither the health or the form to be part of [the Rugby World Cup]. For the first time in my life, I began to question my love for this sport.

“I questioned whether my body could handle it anymore. The critics who had been going on about my age started making more sense to me.”

Dan and Honor at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards. Photo: Getty

Luckily, Dan’s wife Honor stepped in to be his “sounding board”, and he credits her experience representing New Zealand in hockey and her “deep understanding” of his feelings for keeping him in the game.

“I would tell her that I wanted to retire, that I didn’t think I had the talent anymore,” he revealed.

“She was my rock and my sounding board during this time, and despite my arguments, kept encouraging me.

“If it wasn’t for her and my love for the All Black jersey, I’d probably have long since hung up my cleats.”

Watch: All Blacks victory parade in Auckland

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