All Blacks great Dan Carter joins Blues

PA Sport Staff

All Blacks great Dan Carter has returned to New Zealand domestic rugby by signing for Super Rugby side Blues.

The 38-year-old has teamed up with former international and Crusaders team-mate Leon MacDonald, who coaches the Auckland team.

The 112-times capped former New Zealand fly-half was a free agent after leaving Japanese side Kobelco Steelers when the pandemic halted the season.

Carter, who left Crusaders in 2015 to sign for Racing 92 in France, joins after Stephen Perofeta suffered a fractured foot and will provide cover and competition for his fellow two-time World Rugby Player of the Year, Beauden Barrett.

The signing comes as New Zealand’s Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa prepares for a June 13 kick-off

Quoted on the Blues website, Carter 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.

“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.”

MacDonald added: “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.

“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.”