• Carter set for club rugby return

    Dan Carter will mark his return to New Zealand rugby when he turns out for club side Southbridge on Saturday.

    The Blues have a bye in Super Rugby Aotearoa this weekend and so Carter is making the most of the free time to travel to Canterbury and play for his club.

    Southbridge confirmed that Carter has made himself available for Saturday’s fixture against West Melton and reports from New Zealand suggest he would start at flyhalf.

    It will be the first time that the two-time World Cup winner plays in New Zealand since his final appearance for the Crusaders in 2015. Carter last played for Southbridge in 2014, while his most recent game of rugby came in the Top League for the Kobe Steelers.

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    ‘I’m hopeful to get down there and pull on the blue and white of the Southbridge hoops this weekend,’ Carter told Newshub.

    ‘The last three weeks have been pretty intense training … gradually building up my contact and getting my confidence back for playing again, so a bit of club rugby would be good.’

    This could be Carter’s first step towards regaining full match readiness for a potential debut in the Blues’ next fixture against the Crusaders in Christchurch on 11 July.

    The 38-year-old signed for the Blues as an injury replacement for Stephen Perofeta, but has watched his new team win all three of their opening fixtures from the sidelines as he works on his fitness.

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