"Surreal" to see Carter's Super Rugby return: Pasitoa

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies rookie Reesjan Pasitoa says it is "surreal" to hear the news of Dan Carter's return to the Super Rugby realm.

All Blacks legend Carter was confirmed as a Blues recruit on Thursday morning, replacing injured 10 Stephen Perofeta in the Auckland squad.

While there will be no regular season crossover between the slated Super Rugby AU and the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, the latter kicking off on June 13, Pasitoa said it would be exciting to see his biggest rugby idol, running around again, after five years overseas.

Pasitoa's father was born in New Zealand and the 18-year-old grew up watching plenty of All Blacks matches when Carter was in his prime.

He’s back! #SuperRugby

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"That's pretty cool, for myself he was probably my biggest idol growing up and probably still is...that's really awesome for the game of rugby that he's coming back," he said.

"It was pretty surreal to be honest just seeing him in a couple of pictures from training and that but it's pretty cool."

Pasitoa said Carter's trademark composure and pinpoint goal kicking were among the elements of the Kiwi's game that he was inspired by.

"Definitely his kicking and his composure in his game, how he's always composed and takes control of what he wants to do and on top of that, nine times out of 10 he executes it really well.

"But definitely his kicking is one of the main things, especially his goal kicking. When I was younger, used to try and copy what he'd done with his kicking."

While a draw for the Super Rugby AU competition is not expected to be released until early next week, there has been public appetite for the consideration of a trans-Tasman finals series after both regular seasons are complete.

Currently the Australian season is set to be 10 weeks with a two-week finals series, while Super Rugby Aotearoa has not factored in a finals campaign, opening up the door for across the ditch competition should travel restrictions permit.

Asked how he felt about the prospect of potentially facing off against someone like Carter in that scenario, Pasitoa said  it would be "unreal"

"It's not every day when there's an opportunity where you get to meet your idol, let alone verse them in the game that you love but that'd be unreal," he said.

"If the opportunity arises and I'm lucky enough to be in that position we'll see how it goes."

While Pasitoa is yet to stamp himself as a Super Rugby regular, in just his first season with the Brumbies, his own composure and confidence has been lauded in his rise to the professional ranks.

The teenager has been given limited opportunities for the Brumbies this season, coming off the bench against the Highlanders in round three and the Sunwolves in rounrd six, but said he had learned plenty from those stints on the field.

"My debut, probably the big thing that the belief that the boys and the staff had in me that I was able to step up a level and get out there so the big thing was my confidence and belief that I was ready," he said.

"Another thing I learned on top of that was to always back myself, I'm a pretty confident person but having them believe in me probably helped that too so that's probably the two things."

The Brumbies are back training as near to normal as they have in months this week, with Super Rugby sides able to have their full squads do full contact sessions for the first time.