All Black legend Carter in shock Super Rugby comeback

Dan Carter has not played in his homeland since his international retirement in 2015, when he helped the All Blacks achieve back-to-back World Cup titles at Twickenham.

Dan Carter has not played in his homeland since his international retirement in 2015, when he helped the All Blacks achieve back-to-back World Cup titles at Twickenham.

AFP/Paul Ellis

WELLINGTON - Two-time All Blacks World Cup winner Dan Carter announced a shock Super Rugby comeback with Auckland Blues, saying he realised during coronavirus lockdown how much he missed the game.

Carter (38), a three-time world player of the year, has been a free agent since returning to New Zealand in March from Japan, where a virus-enforced shutdown ended his stint with Kobe Steelers.

"Two things from the lockdown that I realised was that I really enjoyed spending more time with my family and that I miss rugby," Carter said in a statement released by the Blues.

READ: All Blacks' Dan Carter awarded World Player of the Year

"For me it is a chance to mentor some young players and to give back to New Zealand rugby," he added.

The signing comes as New Zealand's Super Rugby teams prepare to start a domestic tournament next week, after COVID-19 halted the southern hemisphere championship in March.

Carter has not played in his homeland since his international retirement in 2015, when he helped the All Blacks achieve back-to-back World Cup titles at Twickenham.

Blues head coach Leon MacDonald said Carter signed a short-term deal as cover for injured fullback Stephen Perofeta. He joins a squad already containing Beauden Barrett, his successor as All Blacks playmaker.

READ: Steelers tip All Blacks great Carter to be big in Japan​​​​​​​

As a replacement player, Carter will reportedly be on a minimum contract worth NZ$1,800 (US$1,155) a week, a huge cut from the millions he earned playing club rugby in France and Japan.

"For Dan it is not about the money. He is here as a favour, with a desire to give back to the sport," MacDonald said.

As the Blues already have Barrett -- himself a two-time world player of the year -- Carter may fill the role of supersub off the bench.

"I have not played for several months so it will take me a little bit of time to get game-ready," he said.

Source
AFP