Carter quiet on French connection

Star All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter was Saturday staying quiet about a reported deal with French giants Toulouse that would make him the world’s highest-paid rugby player.

Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported on Thursday that Carter would sign a £750 000 deal for one season with Toulouse, although the club has denied they are about to sign the 26-year-old.

Carter, who is recovering from a serious ankle strain suffered in a recent Super 14 match, was not available for comment, a spokesperson for his Canterbury team in New Zealand said. The Press newspaper said his manager, Dean Hegan, also would not comment.

The offer to Carter, if confirmed, would be double the salary earned by the likes of All Blacks teammates Luke McAlister at Sale and Carl Hayman who plays at Newcastle.

It would also outstrip salaries at any of the most ambitious British clubs, including the Ospreys, who have been in talks with Carter’s financial advisers.

Any All Black playing outside New Zealand automatically forfeits his right to Test status.

But Carter, who will be off contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union at the end of the year, can exploit his fame in Europe for 18 months and still be home in time for the 2011 World Cup. — Sapa-AFP

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