New Zealand

Closer to Blues debut? Dan Carter to play for old club

All Blacks great Dan Carter will be headed back to Canterbury for some grassroots rugby.

The new Blues signing has yet to take the field for his Super Rugby Aotearoa side but will be donning the blue and white of Southbridge this weekend.

After seven months away from rugby, playing for his beloved Southbridge will give him an opportunity to regain some match conditioning ahead of his much-anticipated debut for the Blues, who have a bye this weekend.

"That's the plan," Carter told Newshub. "I'm hopeful to get down there and pull on the blue and white of the Southbridge hoops this weekend."

The 38-year-old hasn't played a game of competitive rugby since December when he led the Kobelco Steelers to victory in the Japanese Top League final.

Carter, who last played for Southbridge in 2014, played all of his age-group rugby with the Canterbury club, as did his father Neville who remains heavily involved with the club.

His return to the field is the latest step in Carter's return to Super Rugby, where he could make his Blues debut against his old team the Crusaders on July 11.

"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."

The 112-test All Black signed with the Blues last month as injury cover for Stephen Perofeta, answering the call of former Crusaders teammate and Blues coach Leon MacDonald.

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