New signing Carter’s Perpignan debut delayed

ALL BLACK fly-half Dan Carter has been ruled out of Perpignan’s European Cup game against Leicester on Saturday despite starting a six-month contract for the French side yesterday.

The 26-year-old Carter won his 58th New Zealand cap in the 32-6 win over England at Twickenham on Saturday, a victory which completed a Grand Slam of wins on their tour of the British Isles. He was then due to travel with several All Black teammates to Milan where they were to take part in a two-day equipment promotion on Wednesday and Thursday before finally joining up with the Perpignan players in Leicester on Friday.

“Ideally he should have been with us Thursday to take part in our two training session. This way he just doesn’t not have enough time,” said Perpignan president Paul Goze.

Carter signed to play for Perpignan on September 22, inking a six-month contract with the top French side in what is his first venture into European club rugby.

But he will return to New Zealand at the end of the season and form and, fitness permitting, will be available when the All Blacks next play Test matches, at home to France and Italy in June.

South Africa captain John Smit will lead a star-studded Barbarians side against Australia in Wednesday’s Olympic centenary clash at Wembley (kick-off 7.45pm).

There is a strong South African flavour to the side with Smit joined in the starting XV by six of his World Cup-winning colleagues, including Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez and Schalk Burger.

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, fresh from Saturday’s 32-6 victory over England, will make his first appearance for the Barbarians.

Welsh winger and world player of the year Shane Williams has been included on the bench alongside.

South Africa’s World Cup-winning coach Jake White and Eddie Jones, his sidekick in that campaign, have kept with tradition by selecting Western Province loose-forward Nick Koster as the uncapped player. White said: “This is one of the better Barbarians side there has been for a while and Eddie and I are really chuffed to get this group of players together. It has been nice for me to be with the players I coached at the World Cup but it has also been nice to coach players like Richie and Joe Rokocoko.

Barbarians: P Montgomery; J Rokocoko, R Gear, J de Villiers, B Habana; F Steyn, F du Preez; F Pucciariello, J Smit, C Johnson, B Botha, J Muller, J Collins, S Burger.

Replacements: M Regan, R Blake, C Jack, N Koster, G Gregan, O Smith, S Williams.

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