Carter eager to play in Super Rugby warm up

All Blacks and Crusaders star Dan Carter has dismissed concerns about a calf strain by telling his coaches he wants to play in this weekend’s Super Rugby pre-season warm up.

Crusaders will play the Hurricanes in Eketahuna on Saturday and the world’s leading international point scorer wants to play in the match.

Carter had a frustrating time last year as he was on sabbatical in the first half of the year and then suffered a small fracture in his lower leg in the Super Rugby final against the Waratahs.

The All Blacks first five-eighth missed the Rugby Championship but was then recalled for the end of year tour although he failed to win back his starting place in the team.

Now with 2015 being a Rugby World Cup year Carter is keen for game time and get his career going again.

The majority of the All Blacks will be rested for the match in Eketahuna but Carter is expected to feature in the final quarter of the match despite a calf niggle which he dismissed any concerns about.

“It is nothing serious, I didn’t feel it ‘go’,” Carter told Stuff

“I am not that worried about it, to be honest. It just means I had to monitor my running load and make sure I wasn’t getting too many kms under my belt, with a lot more work in the pool and on the bike.”

The 2015 Super Rugby season is expected to be thirty-two-year-old Carter’s last season in Super Rugby as he will join French Top 14 Rugby club Racing Metro at the end of the season.

The All Blacks weren’t expected back at training until this week but Carter returned early on January the 5th and he hopes that being back before everyone else he can give himself a jump start.

“It’s just a matter of getting a bit of contact. And, also, timing in these pre-season games is a big thing. “

“You can train all you want – but it’s actually game time against proper opposition where you learn more about your moves, structures and your game plans.

“That’s why I came back a little bit earlier, just to get a couple of weeks training under the belt. Otherwise it takes a bit longer to get back into it.”

In other injury news the Crusaders had hoped that Andy Ellis might get an early release from Japanese club Kobe after Willi Heinz was seriously injured in last week’s warm up but that now looks unlikely and Ellis is only expected back late in February or early March.

Canterbury colts halfback Jack Stratton will join Mitchell Drummond and Billy Guyton ahead of the match in Eketahuna.

Crusaders coach Tabai Matson has revealed that locks Luke Romano and Dominic Bird, as well as loose head prop Joe Moody will be the other All Blacks who will get game time this weekend.

The Crusaders start their Super Rugby season against the Rebels in Christchurch on February 13.

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