Preview: Canterbury v Southland

Date published: September 26 2014

Canterbury have named Dan Carter at fly-half for Sunday’s ITM Cup game against Southland in Christchurch.

Carter, who has been sidelined after fracturing the fibula bone in his right leg while playing for the Crusaders against the Waratahsduring the Super Rugby Final last month.

Canterbury coach Robertson revealed that Carter will only play the opening 40 minutes. Carter’s injury has ruled him out of the Rugby Championship and he is hoping to use the All Blacks’ Bledisloe Cup clash with thWallabies in Brisbane on October 18.

”The leg is feeling really good,” Carter told Fairfax Media.

”I feel really good putting a lot of working into it and am waking up the next morning without any pain or symptoms, which is encouraging. So it has been a good week.

”Obviously I have not been able to train as much as I would like with the ITM Cup schedule that Canterbury have had this week but I had a good training today and am looking forward to Sunday.”

Sunday’s clash with Southland will be Carter’s first provincial match for Canterbury since 2009 when he play against Hawke’s Bay in Napier.

With Carter in the run-on side, Richie Mo’unga moves from fly-half to full-back. Rob Thompson also makes a positional switch, moving from left wing to inside centre where he takes over from Ryan Crotty while Michael Green will wear the number 11 jersey.

In other changes to Canterbury’s starting XV that lost to North Harbour earlier this week, captain Willi Heinz returns at scrum-half with Mitchell Drummond dropping to the bench while there are several change amongst the forwards.

Nasi Manu returns at number eight, which means Luke Whitelock shifts to the blindside flank and Matt Todd will start on the openside flank, replacing Jed Brown.

And in the front row, Nepo Laulala and Ben Funnell replace Siate Tokolahi and Codie Taylor at tighthead prop and hooker respectively.

More to follow…

The teams:

Canterbury: 15 Richie Mo’unga, 14 Nathaniel Apa, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Michael Green, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Willi Heinz (c), 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 JJ Manning, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements:16 Codie Taylor, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Matt Symons, 19 Jed Brown, 20 Mitchell Drummond, 21 Brett Maher, 22 Luteru Laulala.

Southland: tbc

Date: Sunday, September 28
Kick-off: 16:35 local (05:35 BST, 04:35 GMT)
Venue: AMI Stadium (Addington), Christchurch
Referee: Richard Kelly