Carter set to face Cheetahs
March 19, 2012
Dan Carter is set to return for the Crusaders © Getty Images
All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter is poised to make his return for the Crusaders in this weekend's Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs in Christchurch.
The 29-year-old has been out of action since suffering a groin injury during New Zealand's Rugby World Cup campaign, but is now fit and in contention for a place in the 22.
The game will be a special one for the Crusaders as they christen their new Christchurch Stadium home, and Carter is keen to play a part after beginning kicking work.
"I had a good week last week training with the team, and got through everything fine, and now I'll get another full week under my belt and put myself in contention for selection," Carter told ONE Sport.
"I'm lacking match fitness so a full 80 minutes might be a bit tough but I'd love to get back out on the park and get some game-time anyway. I'm still only kicking at around 50-60% so that is definitely something that I need to work on, the next couple of weeks especially, to get that confidence back and also add some power back into my kicks."
Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder confirmed that Carter is likely to return among the replacements as they attempt to kick-start their season following recent losses to the Chiefs and Highlanders.
"I think you'd expect Daniel to be in the 22," he said. "Whether he starts we still have to make a decision but we are just really pleased that we are going to be able to include him. [He is] more likely to be on the bench to be honest. He's 100% except for his goal-kicking but he just needs to do a little bit more work."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards Rewinds to 1975 when three Welsh legends were handed their debuts and assesses their legacy
Seven places in the Champions Cup quarter-finals are up for grabs; we break down the permutations for each group in the final round of matches
"Easter must show he is built in the Lancaster blueprint despite having not featured on the England radar until now," writes Tom Hamilton
Monday Maul reflects on a stark setback against Saracens for Munster and ponders what it all means for the Irish provinces in the Champions Cup