A quadricep strain to Colin Slade, one of six All Blacks lost to the Crusaders because of injury this week, means the twice World Player of the Year moves from inside centre and back into the playmaker role for the clash.
Having lost Aaron Cruden for most of the season to a knee injury, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen will undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to see Carter in his preferred position.
Anything but an emphatic win in Nelson will bring an end to the Crusaders' already slim playoff hopes, leaving the seven-times champions with no post-season play for the first time since 2001.
Lock Sam Whitelock, number eight Kieran Read and centre Ryan Crotty have all been ruled out by head knocks sustained in last week's loss to the reigning champion New South Wales Waratahs.
Fullback Israel Dagg injured his calf in the warm-up for the Waratahs match and eight-cap prop Joe Moody has a foot problem.
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will skipper the side from the openside flank in Read's absence. – Reuters
Original source: Carter back at flyhalf for Crusaders