Carter keen for Cantab return

After winning the Vodacom Tri-Nations with the All Blacks and subsequently enjoying a three-week rest, Daniel Carter rejoins Canterbury for their big game against Auckland this Saturday.

The IRB 2005 Player of the Year returned to training this week, and claims to be refreshed after the short break.

“Physically I wasn’t too bad, I didn’t have any injuries. It was more of a mental break that I needed. I was just in need of some rest and a chance to get my mind away from rugby for a while,” Carter said.

Carter comes back into a side that recently relinquished the Ranfurly Shield to North Harbour last weekend. The New Zealand flyhalf had to watch it all on TV, helpless to prevent the eventual handover by captain Corey Flynn to Auckland’s Rua Tupkoi in the loss.

“It was pretty frustrating to watch. It was just one of those games that could have probably gone either way,” he said. “They’re definitely creating enough opportunities from what I’ve seen. It’s just a matter of being a bit more clinical and finishing those opportunities off, but I’m pretty positive we’ll bounce back.”

While the New Zealand flyhalf claims to have kept fit during the interrum, he longs to be back on the field amongst the country’s best players.

“It’s always a lot of fun coming up against your good mates. You play alongside each other so much it seems kind of weird coming up against each other.

“But you put those friendships aside when you’re out on the field. We’ll just try and smash each other and once that final whistle goes you’re mates again. I’m sure I’ll probably sit back and have a few lemonades with them in town somewhere afterwards.”