The42 Rugby Weekly

'We're all imagining him and Beauden Barrett linking up at 10 and 15'

The lads on The42 Rugby Weekly are very excited about Dan Carter’s return to Kiwi rugby.

WE NOW HAVE just nine days to wait until professional rugby union returns in New Zealand with Super Rugby Aotearoa and the Blues have added to the excitement with a very high-profile signing.

Not content with having signed of the greatest out-halves ever to play the game in Beauden Barrett, the Blues have now added one of the greatest players of all time in the shape of Dan Carter.

The former All Blacks out-half might be 38 now but he looks in superb condition after finishing up with the Kobe Steelers in Japan earlier this year.

This week’s episode of The42 Rugby Weekly saw the lads dig into the return of the highest Test points scorer in history to Kiwi rugby, while they also discussed the big clearout in Connacht this summer.

dan-carter-with-beauden-barrett Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett at Blues training. Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Former Crusaders man Carter links up with the Blues as injury cover for Stephen Perofeta ahead of the Auckland franchise’s first game against the Hurricanes on 14 June.

The veteran playmaker will be competing with Barrett, 25-year-old Otere Black, and youngster Harry Plummer for the number 10 shirt, although Blues boss Leon McDonald might just opt to pair Carter and Barrett together as dual playmakers – particularly given their history of playing together for the All Blacks.

Either way, Gavan Casey, Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella are very much looking forward to Carter’s return to Kiwi rugby, as they discussed on the latest edition of The42 Rugby Weekly podcast.

Murray: “It’s exciting. I know he’s 38 but this is one of the greatest players of all time and, for me, probably the best out-half of all time.

“He turned 38 back in March but he still looks in fantastic condition. Watching the highlights of the Top League, he has been playing really well over there. Obviously the standard in the Top League isn’t quite as high as this Super Rugby will be but he helped Kobe to the Top League title and a Top League Cup.

“It will be fascinating to see what role he plays. I think we’re all imagining him and Beauden Barrett straight away linking up at 10 and 15, their first game together since the 2015 World Cup final.

“I’m really excited to see how he gets on and how much he adds to the Blues.”

Gavan: “Yeah, me too. Bernard, I think part of the romanticism is that he is 38. I actually find that adds a little more intrigue to it in the sense that you’re playing to a reasonably high level in Japan but this is going back now to the real deal, a higher level of Super Rugby.

“Carter probably hasn’t relied on raw athleticism now for a number of years but for a boxer, the punch is the last thing to go and I think for a rugby player, that sort of touch of class for an out-half is the last thing to go.

“How much of a contribution do you see him making to the Blues when rugby returns next week and how much of it will be a signing with the intention of him providing advice, sharing the knowledge he has accrued over a decade and a half of unbelievable rugby?”

dan-carter-trains-with-the-blues Carter lines up a place kick. Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Bernard: “I think he’ll play, I can see him playing a lot. Leon McDonald has worked with him before in the Crusaders and would be quite close to him. I think the Blues are hopefully on the verge of getting back to where they were. They have had really good talent over the last 10 or 11 years but couldn’t seem to get the cultural aspect right.

“That’s something Carter will have a big influence on. He’s just brought success everywhere he’s been, whether in an All Blacks jersey or his time in Racing, leading them to a Top 14 and maybe could have brought them to a Heineken Cup if he hadn’t been injured.

“I spoke to David Dillon, who is the head coach of the Kobe Steelers, and they said he has been just instrumental, they think he’s playing unbelievable rugby but his intellectual property he has in terms of helping coaches design a game plan, implement it, bring others into the game.

“Just this week, someone sent me video footage of out-halves and scanning. It was a comparison between Dan Carter and Owen Farrell and there’s an interview with Owen Farrell in it. He’s talking about how he has to slow down before he can see things, then adapt to where the space is.

“Whereas Carter seems to be able to move around the field at full speed and still execute the right option. Some of that is probably down to communication being fed in and maybe Northern Hemisphere players not being as good at that, but part of it is Carter’s talent.

“He seems to be able to see opportunities faster than everyone else. Dave Dillon didn’t feel Carter’s legs were gone, they felt he was in great condition, but even if he’s not as durable as he was, if he can bring other people into the game, particularly that Blues backline. I think it could be a really exciting time for the Blues.

“They might just need someone like him to help them change and he could move on or retire when he feels like it. The Blues should really be the dominant force in New Zealand, that’s where the huge talent pool is.” 

You can listen to The42 Rugby Weekly on your favourite podcast app or via Soundcloud below.

Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to discuss Dan Carter’s move to the Blues and Connacht’s sweeping summer clearout

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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