Three-time Super Rugby title winner Carlos Spencer will play for the Blues at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens at Suncorp Stadium in February.
One of the most precocious talents to grace a rugby field, Spencer played 97 games for the Blues between 1996 and 2005, and was instrumental in the club claiming Super Rugby titles in 1996, 1997 and 2003.
A 35-test All Black, Spencer also made 93 appearances for the legendary Auckland team of the 1990s.
The 42-year-old joins the Blues for the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens as a wildcard selection following an online public poll in which he was a clear favourite with the club’s fans.
“It’s going to be amazing to put that Blues jersey back on again,” Spencer said. “I am very excited to be running around with a bunch of young guys again.”
Tournament rules allow each team to sign a wildcard, with this year’s inaugural tournament featuring the likes of Wallabies stars Andrew Walker, Radike Samo and Morgan Turinui.
Spencer has remained extremely fit since retiring as a player in 2010.
“The body’s pretty good,” he said. “I’m actually training for the Cape Epic (an eight-day, 700km mountain bike race through South Africa’s Western Cape) in March next year, so I’m doing a bit of cycling at the moment."
Blues chief executive Michael Redman said the club was thrilled to have the club legend link with the team during preparations for the 2108 season. “Carlos is one of the greatest Blues players ever and our fans voted overwhelmingly that it was him they wanted as our wildcard in Brisbane,” Redman said. “Seeing him in a Blues jersey again will be something special.”
Being a part of the Blues’ environment again was something he would cherish, Spencer said.
“I still have a lot of passion for the Blue jersey. To get back involved with that culture at a union that has given me so much over the years is going to very special.
“I’ve played a couple of social events over the last couple of years but these guys are a lot fitter, faster and stronger. I’ll be relying on the young guys to put me into space and then back me up so I can offload it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Spencer joins global rugby heavyweights Julian Savea, Kurtley Beale, Conrad Smith, Karmichael Hunt and Colin Slade in committing to play in the 2018 tournament.
Born: 14 October, 1975
Birth place: Levin
Position: First five-eighths, fullback
Blues: 97 appearances, 608 points, three Super Rugby Titles (1996, 1997, 2003)
Auckland: 93 appearances, 515 points
All Blacks: 35 Tests, 291 points