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Racing 92 hoping Dan Carter can be their launchpad to rugby’s top tier

The World Cup-winning New Zealand fly-half will make his debut for his new club on Saturday when they face Northampton in the European Champions Cup

When Dan Carter signed for Racing Métro last year, in a deal reportedly worth more than £1m a year that would make him the highest paid player in rugby union, the club’s owner and chairman, Jacky Lorenzetti, said that he expected the New Zealand fly-half to quickly repay the investment by helping swell the sale of tickets and merchandise.

He anticipated that Carter would make the same impact as Jonny Wilkinson did when the England fly-half joined Toulon. Twelve months on, though, as Carter prepares to make his debut for the renamed Racing 92 against Northampton – partnered at half-back by another veteran, Mike Phillips – in the Champions Cup on Saturday, the outlook has changed. The arrival of the 33-year-old World Cup winner has not prompted a surge in sales and the Stade Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes, in the Parisian suburbs, will not be sold out for his first match in Racing’s light blue and white colours, six years after injury brought to a premature end his sabbatical in Perpignan.

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