All Blacks great Dan Carter says he sought assurance about the safety of he and his family before arriving in Paris to begin a three-year stint in French club rugby.
The 33-year-old playmaker conducted his first press conference since arriving at the Racing 92 club on the outskirts of Paris, admitting the recent terrorist attacks on the city which claimed 130 lives and injured many more had shocked him.
He said he sought advice from several figures at the club about the safety in Paris for he, his wife and two sons.
“There has been so much reassurance about the city of Paris from the people we talked to, it gave us confidence that life has gone on here, so nothing changed,” he said.
“It’s never easy, coming from such a safe and secure place like New Zealand. It’s probably harder for the friends and family who you’re leaving behind, but I’m sure they’ll be over here visiting in no time.”
Carter was introduced to club supporters on Friday and says he is excited about beginning what is reputedly the richest club contract in history, in the sphere of 1 million euros ($A1.47 million) per season.
However, he reiterated that boosting his bank account wasn’t the chief motivation after ending a storied 112-Test career.
He starred in his final Test, the World Cup final win over Australia, and was crowned world player of the year a day later.
“You can make pretty good money playing in New Zealand too, it’s not all bad,” he said.
“The thing is, you can’t play international rugby any more for the All Blacks and that’s why I stayed in New Zealand for 13 years.
“I’ve accepted the ruling and I’m happy to retire from international rugby and move onto this challenge.”
Carter says he was always determined to return to France after a six-month contract in 2009 with another Top 14 club, Perpignan, was cut short by serious injury.
The world record points scorer saw enough in that short period to whet his appetite.
“Part of the reason I came back was because of those six months I had living in France which reaffirmed what an amazing country it is.”