The All Blacks great has signed for the Blues as injury cover

Dan Carter set for Super Rugby comeback

Dan Carter is making a return to Super Rugby with the Blues.

The All Blacks great, who has won World Rugby’s Player of the Year gong three times, was a free agent after his time at Kobelco Steelers in Japan was cut short when the Top League season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now the fly-half has linked up with the Blues in Auckland, where he lives with his family, ahead of the new Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.

Carter, 38, comes in as injury cover for Stephen Perofeta, who has been ruled out of the competition after fracturing a bone in his foot during training.

Related: Schalk Brits on Dan Carter’s Super Rugby return

The move would add to the Blues’ depth at ten given that current All Black and two-time World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year Beauden Barrett has also joined them this year.

Blues head coach Leon MacDonald said: “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 tens in Beauden and Otere (Black), 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 full-back.

“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.”

Carter, who played in 112 Tests for the All Blacks and won two World Cups, said: “Two things from the lockdown that I realised was that I really enjoyed spending more time with my family and that I miss rugby.

Dan Carter set for Super Rugby comeback

Reunited: New Blues Beauden Barrett and Dan Carter (Getty Images)

“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.”

New Zealand is the first country to resume elite rugby after competitions across the world were cancelled or suspended due to Covid-19.

Related: Schedule for Super Rugby Aotearoa announced

Super Rugby Aotearoa features the five New Zealand franchises – Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes – and kicks off on 13 June, with home-and-away fixtures played over ten weeks.

The Blues’ first game is against the Hurricanes – Barrett’s old team – on 14 June while they play the Crusaders – Carter’s former side – in July.

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