Waratahs centre Tom Carter has announced his retirement from playing rugby after ten seasons with New South Wales Rugby.
A one-club player, Carter made his debut against Salta in Argentina in 2004, where the young centre continually threatened the opposition defensive line.
Ten seasons later, the 31-year-old will retire having earned 84 caps for his state and become the 18th most capped player in NSW rugby history.
He leaves on a high after captaining the side for the first time in the against-the-odds away win against the Western Force and then scoring a double in his final appearance, the historic match against the British and Irish Lions in June of this year.
The match will forever live in Carter's memory: the last time the Lions toured Australia in 2001, Carter was part of the capacity crowd, supporting his older brother who made his NSW debut from the bench that night.
"I was pretty good until Wednesday night and then I got pretty emotional thinking about all the good times and what the place means to me," said Carter, who now turns his attention to helping his club side Sydney University defend its Shute Shield title.
Carter is one of a number of players leaving the squad this year, with Head Coach Michael Cheika recently confirming the departures of Sitaleki Timani and John Ulugia (both to France), Tom Kingston (Rebels) and Berrick Barnes (to Japan), and scrumhalf Grayson Hart recently making the move to Scotland.
The departures make way for a raft of new talent coming out of Shute Shield ranks and other local pathways, as Cheika explains.
"They'll be changes in the roster going forward obviously but that momentum for change will be the footprint we take into next season."
The full 2014 Waratahs squad is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.