Carter, Read on 'Saders bench
Wellington - All Black flyhalf Daniel Carter will make his return to Super Rugby on Saturday after being named on the replacements bench for the Crusaders for their clash against the Hurricanes.
The 32-year-old Carter has only recently returned to the field after a six-month break and played less than two games of local club rugby before Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder included him in the squad on Thursday.
The world leading Test points scorer had been granted a sabbatical from his New Zealand Rugby Union contract, which he used to take a complete break from all rugby and have surgery on a niggling Achilles injury.
It was hoped the break would prolong Carter's career through until after the 2015 rugby World Cup in England after two injury-plagued seasons since he tore his groin at the 2011 tournament.
Crusaders captain Kieran Read has also been named on the bench after he played just the first half of the All Blacks' third Test against England following concerns over his conditioning due to the re-occurrence of concussion-like symptoms.
The World Player of the Year had suffered two concussions in Super Rugby and while he returned for the Crusaders against the Western Force for their final game before the international break, the re-occurrence of his symptoms prompted All Black coach Steve Hansen to rule him out of the first two Tests.
Fellow All Blacks Owen Franks will also come off the bench for the match, the outcome of which will determine the Hurricanes' post-season chances.
The Wellington-based side are in the sixth, and final, playoffs position on 37 points while the New Zealand conference-leading Crusaders are third overall on 41 points.
The Hurricanes have played one more game than the majority of the other teams chasing the playoffs spots and need to win to keep themselves in the hunt for the post-season.
Mark Hammett's team will be without captain Conrad Smith for the clash after he broke his thumb in the second test against England, with lock Jeremy Thrush taking the skipper's armband.
Tim Bateman will take Smith's position at centre in a powerful backline that includes All Blacks TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea and Cory Jane.
15 Matt Proctor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Blade Thomson, 4 Jeremy Thursh (captain), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Substitutes: 16 Motu Matu'u/Reggie Goodes, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Reggie Goodes/Brendon Edmonds, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Jack Lam, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Hadleigh Parkes, 23 James Marshall
15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty (captain), 11 Nafi Tuitavake, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Kieran Read, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Dan Carter, 23 Rob Thompson