TODAY |

Dan Carter, Brodie Retallick both score for Japanese club Kobelco Steelers in season's first game

Dan Carter has made a successful return to rugby from last year's neck surgery and got to celebrate in style as both he and Brodie Retallick crossed the line to score in the Kobelco Steelers big win yesterday.

Carter had been sidelined since March last year when he had surgery to a mend a cervical spine problem - an operation that left him in a neck brace for seven weeks.

But the 37-year-old left that all in the past yesterday as he scored 18 points in Kobe's 50-16 win over the Canon Eagles in front of a 23,000-strong crowd.

Carter finished up with one penalty and five conversions and even turned back the clock to finish off a try he set up when he broke Canon's line near halfway during the first half.

Dan Carter. Source: 1 NEWS | Sky

The former All Blacks first-five was then joined in the try-scorers club by Retallick in the second half after the lock took an offload inside Canon's 22 and raced into the backfield to score untouched on debut.

Carter took to social media after the game to review his return and admitted he was nervous before kickoff.

Survived my first competition game in over a year. Thanks to the amazing supporters that came out, and my amazing teammates who remind me why I love this game so much."