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June 5, 2020

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Gatland welcomes return of ‘aging’ legend Carter

Dan Carter’s surprise return to New Zealand rugby after five years was welcomed yesterday, though Waikato Chiefs coach Warren Gatland joked that at 38 the three-time World Player of the Year was “getting a bit old.”

Carter has joined the Auckland Blues for New Zealand’s domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, linking up with Beauden Barrett and giving coach Leon MacDonald some valuable experience in the young squad. “He’s getting a bit old now, 38 or something,” former Wales coach Gatland joked in a conference call with reporters. “(But) he has been a legend of New Zealand rugby and I don’t see any negatives towards it. For him to be able to come back to New Zealand and lace his boots up, I just think it’s good for the youngsters.” Carter, who had neck surgery last year and has not played since February, said he was unlikely to be match fit for several weeks. The Blues open their campaign against the Wellington Hurricanes on June 14. The Blues have struggled since winning their third Super Rugby title in 2003.


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