Daniel William "Dan" Carter (born 5 March 1982 in Southbridge, near Christchurch) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer. In the 2009 northern hemisphere winter he is playing for USA Perpignan in the French Top 14 competition, and in the 2009 southern hemisphere winter will play for his regular team, the Crusaders, in New Zealand's Super 14, and the All Blacks if selected.
Carter made his provincial debut for Canterbury in 2002, and in 2003 was selected to play for Super 12 (now Super 14) franchise the Crusaders. Initially playing mainly at second five-eighth Carter reached the final of the competition with the Crusaders in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Although they lost the 2003 and 2004 finals, by 2005 Carter had moved to first five-eighth. He regularly played with Andrew Mehrtens before Mehrtens left the team following their 2004 season. In 2005 and 2006 the Crusaders won the competition, and in the 2006 season Carter scored the most individual points for a player in one season with 221. In April 2008, Carter was linked with a possible move to the Welsh Magners League region the Cardiff Blues along with Guinness Premiership returnees Northampton Saints until being linked to play next season with French teams RC Toulonnais as well as Stade Toulousain who in April 2008 offered Carter "the biggest rugby contract in world rugby", at £750,000 per year to play for them. In June 2008, Carter made the decision to sign a six-month contract with French club side Perpignan, who will be paying Carter the equivalent of £30,000 per game, during his sabbatical season. Carter will most likely return to the All Blacks in time for next year's Tri-Nations competition as well as the 2011 Rugby World Cup. On 31 January 2009 Carter ruptured his achilles tendon playing for Perpignan against Stade Francais. It is estimated he will be out of action for 6 months.
In 2003, Carter made his All Blacks debut at age 21 in Hamilton, New Zealand, scoring 20 points. He was then capped against France in Christchurch, which the All Blacks won 31–23. He was also a substitute in a match against the Australia (the Wallabies) in Sydney, which the All Blacks won 50–21. Carter was then included in New Zealand's 2003 Rugby World Cup squad, where he first gained serious international attention. Carter spent much of the latter stages of the tournament on the bench leaving New Zealand without a specialist goal-kicker. However, he did play in the games against Italy in Melbourne, which the All Blacks won 70–7, and the wins over Canada and Tonga. Although he has been an All Black since 2003 he only secured a permanent position as the first five-eighth in the team during the 2004 tour to the United Kingdom and France displacing Carlos Spencer. He had been playing as a second five-eighths up until the end of the 2004 Tri-Nations. After Carter's performance in the second All Blacks Test against the British and Irish Lions in 2005, he was hailed as the next big thing in world rugby. He scored two tries, five penalties, and four conversions. He ended the match with 33 points, smashing the previous All Blacks record of 18 points in a Lions Test (Carter's second-half total of 22 points by itself was sufficient to top this). He has currently scored a total of 879 test points (25 tries, 155 conversions, 146 penalties, and 2 drop goals) in 59 tests, at the outstanding average of 14.9 points a game (highest average for players who have scored more than 500 Test points). The All Blacks have only lost eight games that Carter has featured in since his debut in June 2003. He is often referred to simply as "Dan", "Dezzie" or "DC".
In November 2005, he released a book entitled Dan Carter: Skills & Performance. It included stories about his relatively brief international rugby career as well as section on skills for younger players. In 2004 and 2005, Carter was voted sexiest New Zealand male in a survey, receiving 35.7% of the vote in 2005.
In 2008 American Cable Channel E! Entertainment judged Carter to be 11th on their list of Sexiest Men in The World. Carter was also featured on the E!'s Sexiest Male Sports Stars where he was ranked third behind Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and David Beckham.
Daniel Carter was the first person in the world to purchase a PC shipped with Windows Vista. After signing the laptop it was put up for auction and raised $4,000,000 for charity. His long-time girlfriend, Honor Dillon, is a professional field hockey player and also plays for the Black Sticks, the New Zealand national hockey team.
2004 - Kelvin Tremain Memorial Trophy for Player of the Year
2004 - Rebel Sport Super 14 Player of the Year
2005 - Kelvin Tremain Memorial Trophy for Player of the Year
2005 - IRB Player of the Year
2006 - Rebel Sport Super 14 Player of the Year