Former All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter has officially joined the Blues as an injury replacement for the Vodacom Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.
Carter will replace utility back Stephen Perofeta who fractured a foot bone during training, which will rule him out for most of the competition.
Carter, who lives with his wife and three children close to the Blues base in Auckland, is a free agent after finishing with Japanese club Kobe when their competition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Two things from the lockdown that I realized, was that I really enjoyed spending more time with my family and that I miss rugby,’ Carter said.
‘Leon is a good mate and we spoke about me helping out. For me, it is a chance to mentor some young players and to give back to New Zealand Rugby.
‘I have not played for several months so it will take me a little bit of time to get game ready.
‘It’s an exciting opportunity to train in the same city that my kids go to school in and my family are currently living. It will also be nice to share my experience with some of the young talent they have here at the Blues.’
Blues head coach Leon MacDonald said he had kept in touch with Carter since his return from Japan and was keen to have him involved with the club.
‘We have a young group of players. Now we have a second World Player of the Year in the team to help guide our players on and off the field.
‘We have two designated 10s in Beauden and Otere, and Dan will be there to help them and our other young backs. If he gets back into playing form that warrants selection, then he could help us as a utility back in midfield or fullback.
‘For Dan it is not about the money. He is here as a favour, with a desire to give back to the sport. We are only a few minutes from his home, so it works out perfectly for everyone and we are thrilled.’
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Back doing what I love after realising how much I missed rugby over these last few Months. When Leon called me with an opportunity to join the Blues squad as a replacement player it was a tough decision but I’m feeling very grateful to be able to train and potentially play in the same city my family and I are currently living. Also it’s a nice opportunity to give back to NZ rugby by sharing my experience and rugby knowledge to the next generation of young players in the squad. Thanks for your support.
Photo: Super Rugby/Twitter