Dan Carter will start for Canterbury in their first game of the NZ Cup against North Harbour at Albany on Saturday.
The All Blacks flyhalf has not featured in a top-level game since he picked up an Achilles injury playing for French club Perpignan six months ago.
Carter’s last Canterbury appearance was on 6 October 2006, when he played in the NPC quarter-final against Wellington.
There is talk that he could still play part in the All Blacks’ Tri-Nations campaign. This will be a big boost for coach Graham Henry as pivots Stephen Donald and Luke McAllistar have failed to perform consistently.
Carter played a full game for Southbridge in a sub union club match against Hornby last Saturday, scoring a try and slotting two conversions in his team’s 34-13 victory. However, he also missed four kicks at goal.