There are few trophies Dan Carter has failed to touch in his storied rugby career, but one that has evaded him will be on the line today.
The All Blacks legend will start for Southbridge in the Ellesmere senior competition final against Waihora, contesting the Coleman Shield.
Southbridge will look to successfully defend their title, and will be buoyed by the inclusion of one of rugby’s all-time great.
Carter’s list of silverware includes two Rugby World Cups and numerous Rugby Championship successes, a handful of Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and NPC crowns with Canterbury. As well as that he has snagged the World Rugby Player of the Year award a record three times.
He offers Southbridge plenty of big-game experience to bank on. Carter’s most famous final performance came at the 2015 World Cup, where he was named man of the match in a 34-17 victory over the Wallabies at Twickenham.
His fitness level, despite trucking along at the seasoned age of 38, should not be too much of a problem. Carter joined the Blues as an injury replacement for Super Rugby Aotearoa, taking part in their weekly trainings despite not taking the field competitively.
It will be his third appearance for the club this year. He turned out during a Blues bye week in Super Rugby Aotearoa in July, and played in last weekend’s semifinal win over Prebbleton. He has only played five games for Southbridge, due to his All Blacks commitments throughout his 18-year professional career.
During the season Southbridge and Waihora finished with just one loss, with Southbridge winning their round-robin contest 20-15.
The match will take place in front of limited spectators due to restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. It will also be livestreamed on Canterbury Rugby’s Facebook page for the fans who cannot attend.
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