New Zealand players and coaches are always in demand but the challenges of northern hemisphere rugby mean even the best cannot always adapt
When Daniel Carter joined Racing 92 after the 2015 World Cup, he was treated like rugby royalty. He arrived in Paris to a fanfare, introduced on a prime time television show not as the world’s highest paid union player, as he had become with a contract in excess of £1m a year, but one of the greatest of any generation.
The expectation was that Carter would dazzle in the Top 14 as he had for the Crusaders and the All Blacks, but the environments were markedly different. The signing was condemned by the Toulon owner, Mourad Boudjellal, as a triumph of commercialism over rugby: he should know given the number of southern hemisphere pensions he has boosted since resurrecting the Mediterranean club, but the Carter effect went beyond boosting Racing’s turnover.