Dan Carter ruled OUT of Champions Cup final against Leinster

By Stephen Barry

Dan Carter has been ruled out of the Champions Cup final 90 minutes before kick-off.

The Racing 92 out-half is not fit enough to take his place on the bench against Leinster due to a hamstring injury.

Remi Tales, who has 24 caps for France, takes his place on the bench, behind starter Pat Lambie.

Racing have already lost European Player of the Year nominee scrum-half and place-kicker Maxime Machenaud to injury in recent weeks.

Carter played the final 25 minutes of Racing's Champions Cup semi-final victory over Munster.

Writing in his Irish Examiner column yesterday, former Racing coach Ronan O'Gara said: "If I was still on the coaching staff, I’d be pushing hard for Dan Carter to start.

"In 25 minutes against Munster he made eight tackles, and his first intervention was to catch Simon Zebo on a 30m lateral run and rattle him to the ground. The guy is an insane competitor and the best man in the world for the big occasions for over a decade.

"The two years in Paris working with him have been the most beneficial to me as a rookie coach.

Just being exposed to that nous on a daily basis. It’s only when it’s over, you are left thinking, ‘jeez that’s a big void there now’.

"I got him at the most experienced stage of his career, when he had all that knowledge accumulated and, when you are training twice a day, that’s four brainstorming sessions with him, before and after each session.

"As good as things are with the Crusaders, there isn’t an individual here like Dan Carter. Then again, where is there one?"

The two-time World Cup winner and three-time World Rugby Player of the Year has started only one European game this season, a bruising 14-7 away loss to Munster last October.

By Stephen Barry

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