Super Rugby
Dan Carter makes Crusaders return
ESPN Staff
June 29, 2014
Carter played half an hour for the Crusaders on Saturday © Getty Images

Dan Carter made his return to professional rugby as a second-half substitute for the Crusaders in their 16-9 loss to the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Carter, who had taken a six-month break from the game, played the final half hour of the crucial Super Rugby fixture but was unable to prevent the Crusaders going down to their New Zealand conference rivals the Hurricanes.

"It all became quite real that I was back when I was warming up and I just wanted to get out there and play," Carter told the Rugby Paper. "I was a bit nervous. This last week was my first training with the squad in terms of the game plan so I was on edge a little bit and doing plenty of extra homework."

The defeat leaves the Crusaders third in the overall Super Rugby table but level on points with fourth-placed the Highlanders, with the Hurricanes just one point behind in fifth. Carter, the world record international points scorer with 1440, found himself in the unusual position of not scoring a single point in the game.

The fly-half took a six-month break from rugby to be fit for the World Cup next autumn. He is targeting the first Rugby Championship fixture against Australia on August 16 as a date for his international comeback.

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