Dan Carter hints at timeline for Blues debut

Publish Date
Sunday, 21 June 2020, 10:19AM


Dan Carter has given an indication as to when he might appear in a game for the Blues, noting he has plenty of work to do before he steps onto the field.

The 112-cap All Blacks first five-eighth was a shock signing for the Blues ahead of Super Rugby Aotearoa, joining the team as an injury replacement after the Japanese Top League season was cancelled.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Martin Devlin, Carter admitted he had to play catch-up and it would be at least a month before he would even face the possibility of selection.

"I wasn't expecting to play any rugby in 2020 when the Japanese season got cancelled, so my lockdown was a little bit different to the Super Rugby players; not as intense training-wise, so I've got a bit of catching up to do," Carter said.

"Basically I just want to train really hard for a month, and then we can reassess exactly where things are at the end of that. If my body's good I may be available for selection then.

"Whether I'm picked or not is going to be up to the coaches because they've got a lot of depth. I'm just waiting to try and contribute both on, but probably more off the field - at the moment I'm trying to get my body up to speed so I can be considered."

While working to get back up to speed with the style of play Super Rugby Aotearoa offers, Carter was working closely with the Blues first five-eighth stocks, with Otere Black, Beauden Barrett and Harry Plummer all competing for playing time in the role.

For now, Barrett is being introduced to his new surroundings at fullback where he can observe the game as a whole and has the ability to roam with freedom. However it is expected that the first choice All Blacks No 10 eventually takes over in that role for the Blues.

Until then, Black has made himself the go-to option for coach Leon MacDonald with consistency and reliability in his performances.

Carter noted the abilities of Black, and said he was always looking for ways to better himself.

"He's a great player; very underrated. He controlled the game very well and is always reliable off the tee," Carter said.

"I've had a few conversations with him, sort of more informally. So we'll get through training then he'll ask me questions about what I've seen and ways I could help his play.

"He's played a lot of rugby, but there are a couple of little subtle conversations we have at the end of training or throughout the week."

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission