Former All Black Ali Williams is returning to professional rugby.

The 77-capped lock has signed for Racing 92 next year, having retired last year after a stint with Toulon.

The 35 year old Williams will link up with former international teammate Dan Carter.

Williams walked away from rugby last season with winner's medals from the 2014 French Top 14 and European Cup.

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Racing 92 won the French Top 14 title last week after beating Toulon in the final. Former All Blacks Chris Masoe, Joe Rokocoko and Casey Laulala also play for the Paris-based side.

"I just feel internally that it's right, that my head is in a good place to walk away from the game," Williams said at the time when he called it quits.

"I also feel that my body is saying, 'no more please'. My Knees are no good, and shoulders, and I don't want to be 60, or 40, and not be able to walk around and play with my daughter in the back yard."

Williams won two Super Rugby titles, one each with the Blues and Crusaders and was part of the 2011 Rugby World Cup side before heading to France in 2013.