All Blacks great Dan Carter has emerged as a trump card in the heavyweight Canterbury Crusaders’ bid for an eighth Super Rugby crown after making an impressive return from a long injury layoff during the last three weeks.
Playing in the No.12 outside Colin Slade in the final round against the Highlanders, Carter kicked 14 points in a commanding 34-8 victory that sealed a week off and a home semi-final for the Crusaders.
The 32-year-old has looking increasingly solid in his three outings, and will play a crucial role as the red-and-blacks search for their first title since 2008 – the longest drought in the franchise’s decorated history.
The question on everyone’s lips after the Super XV competition concludes in early August will be where Carter fits into the All Blacks’ picture for the upcoming Rugby Championship.
Carter is a proven big-match performer and arguably New Zealand’s greatest-ever No.10, but Chiefs linchpin Aaron Cruden is the firmly established incumbent and brilliant Hurricanes playmaker Beauden Barrett, a star for the All Blacks off the bench last year and earlier this season, is undoubtedly the form flyhalf in the country.
The veteran Carter spoke with the Rugby HQ guys about his recent comeback:
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