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New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter will take a six-month sabbatical following the All Blacks’ European tour this autumn, missing most of next year’s Super 15 season with the Crusaders.

The 31-year-old, regarded by many as the best in the game, told journalists on Friday he wanted the break to recover after more than a decade at the top level.

Carter’s decision follows that of All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who played his last Test against England in December but returned to play for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby playoffs.

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