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Could Southbridge RFC and the Carter family be heading for a rugby romance?

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James Mortimer     11 Jul 2013     Getty Images

He wasn’t kicking many goals for Southbridge, but he was drawn to knocking goals through the posts even in his spare time, much to Honor’s disapproval, as he wasn't going to let his masterful boot get rusty.

Almost on cue Mrs Carter comes into the kitchen, and as one Dan and son Marco James, who had been quietly watching his father, turn as their wife and mother flows into the room.

“Your gear is on the bed babe”, Honor says to her husband.

“But you’re going to have to check the stitching on your shorts that I haven’t threaded them to tight.”

Dan smiled, as he always insisted on doing his own stitching, but it was something his wife insisted on with even more purpose.

It was a far cry to brand new uniforms with the All Blacks each game, Dan mused, thinking with more frequency how much he was beginning to miss ‘testing’ himself with Test rugby.

With a grin that had melted many hearts, but was now almost the sole province of his wife and son, he walked to his room to get ready for another match for Southbridge.

While he wasn’t playing the full season, he was beginning to get ‘itchy feet’ again, remembering how Richie had told him the same thing had happened to him after more than a couple of months out of rugby at the highest level.

Dan sat on the bed, and while his body wasn’t sore like it would be for days after constant rugby, he couldn’t help but smile and think he might be going soft for not charging into Springbok and Wallabies forwards.

“Hurry up babe, I’ve got to put Marco and the picnic basket in the car” Honor called, snapping Dan out of visions of marshalling his All Blacks backline, as he not for the first time was thankful that this was just a sabbatical, and not retirement.



This could be the picturesque scene if reports are true that All Blacks first five-eighth Dan Carter may stay in New Zealand and not pursue a ‘playing sabbatical’ as he did with Perpignan.

While there is still no formal confirmation even that Carter will take his sabbatical during 2014 Investec Super Rugby, he has the option to take one up before the next Rugby World Cup.

However a growing family and business interests at home, as well as a desire to play for a team where it all began, could see Carter’s sabbatical take the tinges of something that could make the silver screen.