Super Rugby
Dan Carter flags Southbridge club comeback
March 12, 2014
New Zealand's Dan Carter speaks during a New Zealand All Blacks media session, ANA Intercontinental, Tokyo, October 31, 2013
Dan Carter is enjoying time with his family while on sabbatical © Getty Images

Dan Carter has confirmed he wants to play for the Crusaders after the June Test break, but only after playing first for his Southbridge club as he works his way back to fitness after his sabbatical.

Carter has not played rugby since limping out of his 100th Test, against England at Twickenham in November, with another Achilles injury, but he was always due to miss the opening stanza of 2014 after agreeing a sabbatical with New Zealand Rugby to ensure he has the best chance of being fit and fresh for the All Blacks in defence of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Carter, who underwent Achilles surgery after that Twickenham Test, is using his break to spend time with his family and work on his injury problems in order to extend his playing career.

"I'm obviously enjoying the time off but every time I watch I'm wanting to get out there and be playing, which is good," Carter said at an appearance on Tuesday to promote the Wings for Life World Run event to raise money for spinal injury research.

"There is still plenty of time.

"The training I've been doing has been pretty basic, just getting on top of a few things that have been holding me back for the last couple of years.

"The beauty of this break is that you can train harder than you would if you were playing. When you're playing week in, week out, it's more about recovery and you don't get gains. It's more about maintaining [the body].

"I'm pretty keen to play a couple of Crusaders games after the Test series so that's what I'll be working towards, [and] potentially a club game or two before then."

The Crusaders play three home-and-away Super Rugby matches after the All Blacks' Test series against England - against the Hurricanes, Blues and Highlanders.

Carter has played only one senior match for Southbridge, against Hornby in 2009, when his comeback from another Achilles injury and sabbatical drew thousands of spectators to Denton Oval in Christchurch.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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