Dan Carter must wait for his Blues debut after missing out on the squad to face the Hurricanes – but Beauden Barrett says the All Blacks great is already making a huge impact.
At the age of 38, Carter has been tempted back into Super Rugby by the Auckland-based Blues.
Their apparent marriage of convenience came about as Carter was living close to the Blues' training headquarters, with rugby union's all-time highest international points scorer looking for a challenge.
Blues head coach Leon MacDonald has suggested Carter will have an important role in helping to mentor the emerging generation, but he may also contribute on the pitch.
Former Crusaders star Carter is working on his sharpness and could be involved in first XV duties in the coming weeks.
Ahead of the team's Eden Park opener on Sunday in the Super Rugby Aotearoa, Barrett told radio station Newstalk ZB: "He's been such a steady and experienced voice.
"The first day I was training out there, I was training alongside him and he was giving me instant feedback which is so good. It's what I need to get better. It's what we all need to get better."
Barrett is a two-time world player of the year, while Carter has taken that award three times, and although both operate at fly-half by trade, McDonald could find space for the duo in his team in future weeks.
Crowds are being allowed into stadiums for the tournament, which is being limited to New Zealand teams, with over 34,000 tickets sold for the clash in Auckland.
Carter might put more numbers on the gate once he makes his entrance later in the competition.
"He's still a few weeks away from being match fit," Barrett said. "But just his presence, his experience. He's almost a player-coach."