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Carter stays true to the blue

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 06:59
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After the season we've had, to earn the chance to right the wrongs ... that was one of the biggest factors on my mind
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Tom Carter committed his future to the Waratahs, signing a new contract that will see him represent the state for a tenth successive season in 2013.

A passionate New South Welshman, the 29-year-old centre says the thought of saying goodbye to his state teammates and fans after such a disappointing season was a major factor in his decision to stay.

"After the season we've had, to remain a Waratah and earn the chance to right the wrongs and give our fans something to be proud of, that was one of the biggest factors on my mind," said Carter.

"This team means so much to me, I've always wanted to be a one-club player.

"As a player, it's about stewardship not ownership.  We are playing and representing the people that have gone before us.

"We all want to leave the organisation a better place than when we started and that, along with wanting to be a one-club player, were the things that resonated most strongly with me.

"We know what we need to do to be successful.  Experiencing the bad times makes the good times feel better."

Aged 21, Carter made his NSW debut against Salta in 2004, touring Argentina alongside current team mates Benn Robinson, Dean Mumm and Wycliff Palu.  Injury forced him to wait until 2008 for his Super Rugby debut which came against the Hurricanes.

In 2011, Carter capped an outstanding season by becoming the Waratahs' joint top try scorer alongside Drew Mitchell and earning the prestigious Waratah Medal for excellence on and off the field. The 2012 season saw him a further 14 NSW caps, including eight in the starting team, and cross the try line on four occasions, including a double against the Rebels in round two and a crucial 58th minute effort against the Sharks.  As well as putting his side ahead for the first time in the match that they eventually went on to win 34-30, the effort propelled the centre into the top 10 try scorers in NSW Super Rugby history.

With 79 state caps to his name, Carter is now the 18th most capped NSW player of all time and still features in the top ten highest points' scorers in state history (15 tries), one behind Mitchell.

One of a rare breed of modern day players to devote his entire career to one club.  Next year will be Tom's tenth season in the sky blue of NSW.

Known for the passion with which he represents his state, Carter wears his heart on his sleeve every time he pulls on a jersey.  It is these feisty performances that his team mates say makes them glad to have him on their side, and his opponents admit has, at times, put them off their game.

After considering his options at the end of the 2012 season, Carter says the thought of leaving a team that been such a big part of his life for almost a decade was a tough one to consider.

"The most difficult was the thought of saying goodbye to the group of people I play with and for.  There is nothing better than playing at a packed Allianz Stadium.  Our fans are incredible and to give them something back was really important to me."

A passionate NSW countryman, Tom was born in Young and represented the Young Yabbies from the age of six, before joining the Wahroonga Tigers aged 13. With the British & Irish Lions playing both the Waratahs (June 15, Allianz Stadium) and a combined NSW and Queensland Country side (June 12, Newcastle) as part of their 2013 tour, the chance to fulfil another ambition proved an added incentive.

"The opportunity to play against the Lions and for NSW Country and to get back to regional NSW means a lot to me.  To be involved in such historic matches is one of the reasons you play the game.  The country means a lot to me and to be able to give something back is really important."

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