Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

All Blacks fly-half was an exceptional talent in an attritional game and a move away from brute force may help skill flourish

Daniel Carter announced his retirement 18 years after he made his debut for the All Blacks on the same weekend that five players were sent off in the round of Premiership matches, a record for the tournament, as part of a crackdown on dangerous play that also saw a red card in each of the first two Six Nations weekends.

The blitz of red cards is part of the drive to reduce head injuries by improving player behaviour. The question is, why did it come late to the Premiership, given that nine reds were shown in the second and third rounds of the Top 14 in France, and 12 in the opening five, a period in which 57 players were also sent to the sin-bin.

Related: Dan Carter hangs up his boots as a study in sporting greatness | Michael Aylwin

Related: British & Irish Lions ‘home tour’ could be expanded to four Tests

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