Lions tour: Dan Carter backs All Blacks to be 'too strong' for British and Irish Lions

One of the country's favourite rugby sons is back in New Zealand and ready to witness a mouth-watering All Blacks encounter with the British and Irish Lions, only this time from the sidelines.

Dan Carter has returned from his current base in Paris, where he's finished up his second season with Racing 92, specifically to take in the Lions spectacle first-hand.

"It's a pretty exciting time for New Zealand rugby with the Lions here, so I thought I'd come back and watch a couple of Test matches," Carter exclusively told Newshub.

"I'm looking forward to a good, tough Test series."

The 112-Test first-five appreciates all too well the pressure and occasion that a Lions tour brings, playing a starring hand in the All Blacks' series sweep the last time they visited back in 2005.

Those three games marked a coming-of-age for the prodigious pivot, stamping his mark on the international landscape with some performances that will live on long in All Black folklore.

Twelve years on, Carter is eager to take in what he expects to be a hard-fought series against a Lions side he believes has gone from strength to strength over the past few weeks.

"I've watched most of the games and obviously the Lions struggled early on, which is to be expected, forming a team from four different nations.

"I've thought they've just got better and better as the series has gone on.

"I'm looking forward to the first Test to see how they match up against a pretty strong New Zealand side."

The 35-year-old expects there to be a whole new level of intensity at Eden Park on Saturday night, but that doesn't mean he misses being a part of it.

"Just the atmosphere in the crowd, it's another step up from any other Test match when you're playing against the best and there's so much riding on it.

"That chapter of my book is firmly closed. I'm not missing it, and now I'm just like everyone else and become a supporter."

As for his prediction, it's unsurprisingly one that goes in his former team's favour.

"I think the All Blacks will be too strong. Hopefully the weather clears up a little bit and we can see some open play.

"I think it'll be a close match, but the All Blacks will be too strong."