- Dan Carter returned to New Zealand after the Covid-19 pandemic ended his stint with Japanese Top League side Kobelco Steelers.
- Having spent 13 seasons with the Crusaders the sight of Carter wearing a Blues jersey will take some getting used to for fans.
- A lifelong Crusaders fan, nana Pam said she would switch allegiance to the Blues when the Crusaders and Blues played in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Dan Carter's 90-year-old rugby-loving grandmother has given her grandson's surprise signing with the Blues her stamp of approval - after begging him not to play for the same side back in 2009.
New Zealand great Carter was unveiled on Thursday as a Blues player and will feature for the side in the upcoming Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament starting on Saturday, 13 June as injury cover.
According to the Stuff website's Brendon Egan, Carter, now 38, is based in Auckland, having returned to New Zealand after the Covid-19 pandemic ended his stint with Japanese Top League side Kobelco Steelers.
Having spent 13 seasons with the Crusaders - which included three Super Rugby titles - before heading overseas, the sight of Carter wearing a Blues jersey will take some getting used to for fans.
Carter's nana, Pam Carter, wasn't keen for her grandson to play for the Blues in 2009 when a move north beckoned.
In his 2015 biography Dan Carter: My Story, Carter revealed two key factors kept him in at the Crusaders: Negotiations with the Blues being leaked to the media and a phone call from nana Pam.
"After the leak my nana called me. She was very upset and begged me not to play for Auckland. They're a pretty parochial bunch down there, and she got me thinking about all the thousands of Canterbury people I'd be disappointing by leaving.
A lifelong Crusaders fan, nana Pam even said she would switch allegiance to the Blues when the Crusaders and Blues played their two matches in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The Blues and Crusaders meet for the first time in the competition in Christchurch on 11 July in a clash which will carry plenty of intrigue. They also clash in the final round on 16 August at Auckland's Eden Park.
ALSO READ | 'The perfect 10': Dan Carter's career highlights
The Crusaders were top of the New Zealand Conference when Super Rugby was halted in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Blues were second, a single point behind their south island rivals, albeit having played one extra match.
The Crusaders are three-time defending Super Rugby champions - and 10-time winners overall - while the Blues have tasted success on three occasions - including the inaugural tournament in 1996, but haven't emerged victorious since 2003.
Carter played 141 Super Rugby matches for the Crusaders between 2003-2015, scoring a tournament record 1 708 points.
In addition, Carter played 112 Tests for the All Blacks, scoring a record 1 598 points during his international career which concluded after the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. He was also voted World Rugby's World player of the Year in 2005, 2012 and 2015.
It's great to have you back Dan!