Dan Carter makes New Zealand rugby return with Southbridge | Rugby Union News

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Last Updated: 04/07/20 3:54pm

Dan Carter kicked six conversions on his Southbridge return

Dan Carter gave himself a pass mark after his first game of rugby in New Zealand since 2015 but was not hoping to make a marketers’ dream debut for the Blues a few weeks against the Crusaders.

The All Blacks legend surprisingly joined the Blues last month for Super Rugby Aotearoa but said however need a couple weeks to get up to date.

He took his first tentative steps right back on Saturday, playing for boyhood club Southbridge in a Canterbury club match.

“If anyone saw that game today, I’d say myself that I’m a bit rusty,” said Carter after that he kicked six conversions and had a hand in two tries in Southbridge’s 54-14 victory over West Melton.

“It’s good to make the first step in to potentially playing again. I’m not sure if I could play at Super Rugby level just yet. You leave those kinds of decisions up to the coaches.”

Carter helped Southbridge to a big win over West Melton

Carter helped Southbridge to a large win over West Melton

A three-times World Player of the Year and World Cup winner in 2011 and 2015, Carter spent his entire professional career in New Zealand playing for the Christchurch-based Crusaders.

He joined the Blues after stints in France and Japan but hasn’t played since February after Japan’s Top League was shut down as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

He has also scarcely played previously 18 months after undergoing neck surgery in 2019.

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The Crusaders caused it to be three wins from three in Super Rugby Aotearoa with a large win away to the Highlanders on Saturday

The Crusaders caused it to be three wins from three in Super Rugby Aotearoa with a large win away to the Highlanders on Saturday

While many Crusaders fans considered Carter joining their bitter rivals the Blues as treasonable, there were hopes he might make his Super Rugby Aotearoa debut a few weeks in Christchurch.

“Whether I play or not, I’m not too worried,” Carter added after that he played the whole 80 minutes on Saturday.

“I’ll leave that decision to (coach) Leon (MacDonald) and the selectors up at the Blues.”



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