Former Springbok hooker Schalk Brits is excited about Dan Carter’s return to Vodacom Super Rugby with the Blues.
Much like Carter’s shock return, Brits and Duane Vermeulen were lured back from overseas sojourns to play for the Vodacom Bulls in South Africa last year.
Speaking to Rugby World, Brits said he believes Carter’s timely return will not only be beneficial to the young, inexperienced players in the Blues squad, but also considerably increase the team’s chances in the newly formed New Zealand-only competition.
‘Going back to playing Super Rugby, there is quite an attraction to it,’ Brits said. ‘You can play in unbelievable conditions, the pitches are great 99% of the time and it’s a running style of rugby. Sometimes in the northern hemisphere it can become a slog, like with two proper heavyweights. The physicality is still there [in New Zealand] but the ball’s being thrown around a bit more.’
‘Definitely with all his expertise, DC is an unbelievable person and secondly [has] an unbelievable rugby … well, I won’t say nous … but he knows everything. Probably not scrummaging but pretty much everything else!
‘In the southern hemisphere – well, in South Africa I can definitely say – they don’t always value guys like that but you need guys with a lot of expertise, who can actually teach younger players to grow.
‘I don’t want to put him on a pedestal, but DC is a very special rugby player! He’s coming from Japan, which is even faster. The physicality isn’t the same as in the northern hemisphere or in Super Rugby, but from a speed perspective it’s quicker. Stats-wise, in Japan the ball is in play a lot more. So, his engine will be fine.
‘I can definitely say as a rugby lover, it would be nice to see DC pull on a shirt again, although it will be so weird seeing him in a blue shirt rather than a red shirt. In saying that, I think he’s always added value and he will add tremendous value to the Blues.
‘I don’t think Dan will play 80 minutes every week. He’s there to add value and play every now and then. So from that perspective I’m very excited to see him play again. He’s just a great baller.’
Meanwhile, it has been reported that because Carter signed for the Blues as injury cover for the crocked Stephen Perofeta on a minimum salary contract of $1,800 a week, it will total at $18,000 for the season if he stays in the playing squad for the entire 10 weeks of the competition.
It is substantially less than the $2 million Carter earned per season in Japan.
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