Crusaders coach Scott Robertson not over Carter signing with Blues

Beauden Barrett(with ball) and Dan Carter at a Blues training session. Picture: PHOTOSPORT LTD.

Dan Carter won’t do the unthinkable – run out against his former side for the Blues – on Saturday night in Christchurch, but the sight of him on the opposition sideline still might ruffle some feathers.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is among those who still hasn’t got to grips with the 38-year-old All Blacks and Crusaders great being a member of the Blues.

‘’We still haven’t really got over it, to be fair, that he’s in that group…it’s a pretty unique situation,’’ Robertson said ahead of the hugely anticipated clash at Orangetheory Stadium.

And that is despite Carter, who played 141 games for the Christchurch-based franchise between 2003-2015 but now lives in Auckland, giving Robertson a courtesy call to advise he would sign with the Blues as an injury replacement last month.

‘’I did appreciate it. It shows that he is extremely mindful of the situation and how hard a decision it was for him. He loves the game, and he wanted to play, you respect it,’’ Robertson said.

As tempted as the Blues might have been to give Carter a run against the team he won titles with in 2005, 06 and 08, the highest points scorer (1708) in Super Rugby will carry the drinks.

That’s been the case through the Blues’ first three games as he attempts to get match-fit, before his appearance for club Southbridge, south of Christchurch, last weekend prompted speculation he might at least be named on the Blues’ bench this week.

But the wait for Carter to earn a Blues cap, something he admitted himself might not eventuate when he agreed to help out, goes on.

Blues coach Leon MacDonald, who used his deep-rooted Crusaders links to convince Carter to join the team for Super Rugby Aotearoa, has named three playmakers in his starting side.

With Beauden Barrett at fullback, and Otere Black and Harry Plummer at pivot and second-five eighth respectively, it’s likely the Blues will attempt to play for territory and attempt to unsettle the Crusaders’ lineout, an area Blues lock Josh Goodhue eyed during the week.

“They have got a really good mindset. They are confident, they have got really good attacking structures, around using their big boys and they know what they want to achieve,’’ Crusaders captain Codie Taylor said of the unbeaten Blues.


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