Chris Masoe pulling Dan Carter's strings in final year of Racing 92 contract

Dan Carter Chris Masoe
Dan Carter and Chris Masoe on the bench last season for Racing. Photo credit: Getty

Dan Carter has kicked off what could be the final pre-season of his illustrious rugby career.

Known as one of the "elders" of French glamour club Racing 92, Carter is in the final year of his contract and has yet to renew beyond this season.

Carter has been met by a familiar face for pre-season training, former All Black and Racing teammate Chris Masoe.

But Masoe won't be alongside him this time with the former Hurricane pulling the strings, taking a coaching role with the club after his playing days came to an end in May.

While it will be Carter's 17th season of professional rugby, the 112-Test All Black says he still has as much love for the game as he did when he first started playing.

"It's really good to be back on the pitch," Carter told French publication Le Parisien.

"I love this time of year when we train hard - we are tested physically to get back into shape before the long season ahead."

However, at 35-years of age, he muses that his body doesn't quite take to pre-season training like it used to.

"After only two weeks of training, I'm noticing that I eat and I sleep much more than usual."

Carter wasn't shy to express the impact the 38-year-old Masoe's had on him and how he prepares for the season.

He also talked up Masoe's connection with the team.

"[He's improved] our structure of play, our physical abilities and our mind.

"Over the next six or seven weeks physical preparation, the difficulty of the training will help us to develop a good team spirit."

Carter will have to wait until the end of November to come up against former All Blacks first five Aaron Cruden who's signed for Montpellier while he'll run into Ma'a Nonu and Malakai Fekitoa playing for Toulon the week before.