Dan Carter, one of the all-time greats and the leading points scorer in Test rugby, is set for a Super Rugby swansong with the Blues.
New Zealand legend Dan Carter has completed a sensational move to the Blues at the age of 38, it was announced on Thursday.
The three-time World Rugby Player of the Year has joined the Auckland franchise for the Super Rugby Aotearoa, a domestic alternative to a Super Rugby season that could not be finished due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dual Rugby World Cup winner Carter had been plying his trade with Japanese side Kobelco Steelers since 2018 but has now returned to his homeland.
Carter spent 13 seasons playing for the Crusaders, winning three Super Rugby titles and amassing over 140 appearances before leaving in 2015.
He went on to play for Perpignan and Racing 92 – claiming titles with both French teams – prior to completing a two-season deal with the Steelers, where he led Japan's Top League outfit to silverware in 2018.
Carter, set to team up with All Blacks star Beauden Barrett, is now set to play his first rugby match on New Zealand soil in five years.
Carter will replace utility back Stephen Perofeta who fractured a bone in his foot during training which will rule him out most of the competition.
“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.
“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.”
Blues head coach Leon MacDonald said he had kept in touch with Carter since his return from Japan and was keen to have him involved with the club.
“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 10s in Beauden and Otere, 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 fullback.
“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.”
The Blues will open their Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign against the Hurricanes at Eden Park in Auckland on June 14.