All Blacks great Carter set for lucrative Japan swansong?

Cape Town - Former All Blacks legend Dan Carter is expected to finish his playing career in Japan next year, according to French news reports.

According to the Stuff website, the bi-weekly rugby newspaper Midi-Olympique has reported the 112-Test All Blacks superstar will leave Paris club Racing 92 in June to take up a lucrative deal with a Japanese team.

The 35-year-old is in the final year of his contract at Racing 92 and is reportedly close to agreeing which Japanese club he'll sign with, for what's likely to be his last contract as a professional player.

Carter left New Zealand rugby after the successful 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign and last year helped his club win the Top 14, defeating Toulon in the final.

Other former All Blacks at the club, Anthony Tuitavake and Casey Laulala are also expected to leave Racing 92 at the end of the current season.

But, while three All Blacks are on their way out of Racing 92, another one appears to be joining them, with Midi-Olympique also reporting that Canterbury and Chiefs lock Dominic Bird is expected to sign a two-year deal with the club.

The 26-year-old Bird has played two Tests for the All Blacks, against Japan in 2013 and Scotland the following year.

The 2.06m second rower has signed with the Chiefs for next season, so would head to France at the conclusion of that campaign.

Meanwhile, Joe Rokocoko, 34, who scored 46 tries in 68 Tests for the All Blacks, is expected to re-sign with Racing 92 for one more season.