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Rugby: All Blacks ace Carter says sayonara to Japan's Top League

Dan Carter of Kobelco Steelers is seen in action during the Rugby Top League match between Kobelco Steelers and Suntory Sungoliath at Noevir Stadium Kobe on Jan. 26, 2020 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. (Getty/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- All Blacks great Dan Carter has formally parted ways with the Kobe Kobelco Steelers, the Japan Top League club confirmed Friday.

    Carter had already bid rugby fans in Japan a subtle farewell in mid-April via Instagram, paying tribute to his brief time with the Steelers at the end of the truncated domestic season.

    The three-time World Rugby Player of the Year made a big impact in Kobe, leading the club to the Top League championship in 2018-2019, a first triumph since the 2003-2004 campaign. That first season also saw him named Top League MVP and Top Kicker.

    This year's season, delayed to allow players a break following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was cut short after only six rounds were played due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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