Strange in Blue; Dan Carter super-utility rugby signing

Strange in Blue; Dan Carter super-utility rugby signing
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 04: Dan Carter attends a training session after announcing he is joining the Blues at Blues HQ on June 04, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Carter is joining the Blues for the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa Competition as injury cover for Stephen Perofeta. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Usually wearing a red jersey, Dan Carter will now be [strangely] in Blue. He has now signed as a utility back for the Blues Super Rugby franchise.

No, you’re not dreaming. The three-time Super Rugby title winner has 141 caps with the Crusaders and is a surprise signing. It is also a huge boost for Super Rugby Aotearoa starting on June 13.

Carter received an SOS call from former teammate and Blues head coach Leon MacDonald, after one of the team’s first-five eighths broke a bone in his foot. Already planning to work as a kicking mentor, Carter was agreeable and has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby.

Speaking to media after his first squad training, 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.”

Strange in Blue; Dan Carter super-utility signing

An odd connection, when you consider all the years that the Canterbury born player was a part of the ‘red and blacks’. That was emulated with the Crusaders and underlined by a brilliant career for the All Blacks.

Carter has finished sojourns to Racing 92 in France and Kobelco Steel in Japan. He is now at home in Auckland with wife Honor and the three kids, looking to give back.

Finishing prematurely with Kobe; as Covid-19 closed down the Japan Top League, Dan Carter was a player without a team. At 38, he is only 5 kilograms from his peak playing weight in 2015 – and not yet ready to put away the kicking tee.

Carter’s Thoughts on the Move

“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. His new coach MacDonald knows that enthusiasm and wisdom are factors that DC will provide.

He explained that “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 10’s in Beauden Barrett and Otere Black, and Dan will be there to help them and our other young backs. 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.”

2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa draw graphic image (courtesy of SkySport)

Expect a few strange looks from mainlanders, hearing that their Dan Carter will be running out in the Queen City. Yet as bemused as some may be, the majority will see a benefit in bringing back a Superstar. A super-utility signing who could find himself wearing Blue on July 11, when his new team meets his ‘old team’ in Christchurch.

 

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