Dan Carter made his return to a rugby field in New Zealand on Saturday when he turned out for his childhood club.
The All Blacks legend, a two-time Rugby World Cup winner, played 80 minutes in front of a crowd of around 1,000 people as he helped Southbridge to a 54-14 win over West Melton.
Carter kicked six of his seven conversion attempts in his first appearance in his native country since 2015, the year he retired from international rugby.
The 38-year-old has signed with the Blues for their Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign but is yet to feature due to a lack of fitness.
“If anyone saw that game today, I’d say myself that I’m a bit rusty,” Carter said after a match in which he played the full 80 minutes.
“It’s good to make the first step to potentially playing again. I’m not sure if I could play at Super Rugby level just yet. You leave those kinds of decisions up to the coaches.”
After the match, Carter uploaded a series of images and a video from the Southbridge dressing room.
“Love his footy,” he wrote.
“Great day today playing with @southbridgerugby_footballclub thanks for having me.”
Carter spent 12 years playing for the Crusaders, for whom he remains the top scorer, between 2003 and 2015.
However, his Blues debut could come against his old club in Christchurch next week.
“Whether I play or not, I’m not too worried,” Carter added.
“I’ll leave that decision to [coach] Leon [MacDonald] and the selectors up at the Blues.”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) July 4, 2020
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