Rugby: NZ great Dan Carter insists All Blacks eligibility rules shouldn't be changed

Legendary first-five Dan Carter insists NZ Rugby's longstanding eligibility rules that prevent offshore players representing the All Blacks shouldn't be changed, regardless of the circumstances.

Richie Mo'unga's departure for Japan on a three-year deal means new head coach Scott Robertson won't have the luxury of his long-time Crusader's pivot, when he selects his first All Blacks squad for this season, nor the following two.

Two-time World Cup winner Carter believes NZR needs to remain firm in its stance and making exceptions for certain players based on form - even one he describes as the best in the world at his position - could set a dangerous precedent.

Richie Mo'unga in action last year.
Richie Mo'unga in action last year. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I don't think it's just something you change immediately, when you feel like there's a player that you'd love to have," Carter told Newshub.

"My opinion, [Mo'unga] is probably the best No.10 in the world. As sad as it was to see him leave, he left for his reasons and to spend more time with his family. 

"I'm sure he's enjoying his time in Japan and I'm sure here's a part of Razor that wouldn't mind having him back as well."

Carter suggests changing the laws could lead to on offshore exodus that may ultimately weaken the quality of rugby at Super Rugby and NPC levels, as players are enticed by lucrative overseas offers.

"The priority is making sure that New Zealand rugby is as strong as it possibly can be and if those eligibility rules change, then who knows, we might see more players departing."

The three-time World Rugby Players of the Year says the depth of talent in Aotearoa provide no shortage of alternative options to slide into the all-important No. 10 jersey he occupied for 112 tests.

Atop Carter's list of contenders are Chiefs standout Damian McKenzie and Beauden Barrett, who's currently playing in Japan, but is expected to be eligible for selection for the July test series against England.

"You've obviously got Beaudy coming back, a proven playmaker, and everyone knows what he's capable of, so it's great to have him recommitted for a long period.  

"It's hard to go past Damian McKenzie and the impact that he has every time he plays for the Chiefs. It's awesome to see him in fine form.

"It's definitely a battle for those two boys."

Carter, 42, has had a chance to relace his boots and return to the hallowed turf of Eden Park for a fundraising kickathon for Unicef.

Rather than reprising his 24-hour effort of two years ago, Carter has laid down the gauntlet for teams to sign up and beat his mark of 273 successful shots at goal using one tee and one ball in the space of an hour.

"I was overwhelmed with the support that I got for the kickathon two years ago," he said.

"We've been working hard behind the scenes to try and think of another fundraising campaign. I'm not sure if, in my old age, I can kick 24 hours again

"I've set the challenge, and empowered people and teams to try and beat me, and obviously pick up and fundraise along the way."

Hopefuls can sign up to challenge Carter here.