The Daniel Carter saga continues. Chris Jack’s Saracens club in England have become the latest cashed up northern hemisphere outfit to sign up for the bidding war for world rugby’s most sought-after player.
Marc Hinton of RugbyHeaven NZ writes that already we’ve had confirmation – official or otherwise – that French superclub Toulouse and Tana Umaga’s big-spending and promotion-bound Toulon are prepared to stump up with what would be world record-shattering deals to lure Carter north for a short-term stint.
Toulouse, reportedly, are prepared to shell out as much as $1.9 million a year for the All Blacks playmaker, while Toulon’s package is similar with the inclusion of an image rights agreement that will pump up a base salary of around $1.5 million annually.
Welsh clubs the Ospreys and Cardiff Blues have both also signalled their interest in Carter, though it’s thought that they lack the financial clout to compete with the super money being offered by the French outfits who have no salary cap to complicate matters.
However the UK’s Daily Mail is now reporting that Saracens, who include All Black lock Jack and former Bay of Plenty star Glen Jackson on their staff, have joined the auction for the man rated the world’s best No 10.
The newspaper concedes that the two south of France clubs remain favourites to land the Crusaders and All Balcks star, but “Sarries have a lot more going for them than a proven track record in capturing big-name players from the southern hemisphere”.
The Mail says the Watford-based club have “extra financial clout provided by a recent investment of £8 million” and also points out that they possess “a very persuasive man in charge of the ‘Get Carter’ operation” in former Wallabies supremo and 2007 Springboks assistant Eddie Jones.
Reported the newspaper: “The former Wallaby head coach, concentrating on recruitment before taking over the running of the club next season as director of rugby, hopes to convince the All Black flyhalf that he would be better off opting for a country where everyone speaks the same language rather than taking a larger pot of gold in France.”
That will be one of the things being considered by Carter when he comes to make his decision on his future.
With the Crusaders first five currently recovering from a serious ankle injury and hoping to make a return to the field in time for the Super 14 post-season, he certainly has plenty to think about.
Carter comes off contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union at the end of the All Blacks’ tour to the UK this year. He almost certainly will not be requiring the return leg of that journey.
Given the financial woes of the NZRU – they today reported a loss of $1.7 million – it’s hard to see Carter’s current bosses coming up with a deal that would keep him in New Zealand.
It seems only the next World Cup, and the requirement to be playing in New Zealand to be available for the All Blacks, is capable of achieving that.Tweet