Key Points:

Dan Carter will miss playing with his Crusaders Super 14 team next year ... but his deal with French rugby club Perpignan is looking even sweeter now he's seen the luxury seaside home he'll be living in.

The 26-year-old All Black spent a week in the south of France, meeting his new teammates and the coach and owner of the team and looking at his new home, which was picked out for him by the team's management.

"It was only a brief meeting but they seem like a great bunch of guys," Carter told the Herald at the opening of his clothing store in Newmarket yesterday.

Carter will play in next year's European club season under a six-month deal, reportedly worth $1.5 million.

"The decision was quite tough," he said. "I'll miss playing for the Crusaders. I've been with them for six years. But a change will be good."

The first five-eighths will go to France in December after playing for the All Blacks against Australia and in the UK, and will resume his All Black duties next June. He is also contracted for the 2010 Super 14 season.

Carter said he hoped his long-time girlfriend, hockey player Honor Dillon, would be able to join him in France for some time between her Black Sticks and work commitments.