Dan Carter eyes July return for the Crusaders

CIRCLE THE DATE: Dan Carter could make his return from a rugby sabbatical for the Crusaders in July.
CIRCLE THE DATE: Dan Carter could make his return from a rugby sabbatical for the Crusaders in July.

All Blacks first-five Dan Carter is hoping to bring an end to his sabbatical and make his Super Rugby return for the Crusaders in July.

The 32-year-old, the highest points scorer in test rugby, is hoping the six-month rest will help extend his international career through New Zealand's defence of the World Cup in 2015.

Carter last played against England at Twickenham in November and is looking to return after the All Blacks host the same opponents for three tests in June.

"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," Carter told the NZ Herald.

The seven-times champion Crusaders have made a poor start to their Super Rugby campaign with two defeats in their first three matches but Carter expects them to be in a much better position by the time he is available again.

"It's a pretty stock standard start by the Crusaders, to be honest - typically slow," he said.

"They'll be fine, I'm sure they'll get a lot better as the competition goes on."

Reuters