Former All Black Dan Carter has given his strongest indication yet as to his future plans and it won't involve coaching, at least in the short term.
The 112-Test international has signed with Japanese side Kobe Steelers on a two-year deal, after spending three season with French club Racing 92.
In Monaco for the Laureus Sports Awards, Carter admitted retirement and an NZ homecoming was the most likely scenario once he's completed his time in Japan
"I'd say so. I'm not getting any younger," Carter told Newshub from the red carpet.
"I'm super-excited about the next couple of years in Japan and then I think it'll be time to hang up the boots and return home and spend a lot more time with the family."
Many have suggested a shift into coaching would represent a natural evolution for the savvy first-five given the wealth of rugby knowledge he's acquired through a glittering career, including three World Player of the Year awards and
"I don’t know about coaching, to be honest. They work harder than the players, away from home just as much, if not more, than the players."
"I probably won’t go straight into coaching. They have plenty of good coaches in New Zealand anyway."
While he admits he's still an ardent follower of the All Blacks, it seems unlikely he'll be joining the team in any capacity once he moves on from his campaign abroad.
"I'm super-proud to see what they've been achieving over the last couple of years and they obviously have an exciting 18 months ahead leading into the World Cup as well.
"I'd never rule it out, it was an amazing experience for me. I guess it all depends on what I decide to do once I hang up the boots."