Dan Carter says his groin just isn't strong enough yet to take on the goal kicking.

Tom Taylor will retain the goal-kicking duties for the Crusaders in Sunday's Super Rugby match against the Lions, despite the return of Carter.

Carter says his range and strength isn't quite what it was as he continues to rebuild from his groin injury.

"With goal kicking I'm lacking a bit of power, but it's get better with every training session that I have.''

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Halfback Andy Ellis is putting his hand up to play understudy to Taylor if needs be.

Carter says if Taylor's forced from the field and a shot at goal in the dying minutes could win the match, Ellis would be up for the job.

"He nailed a few pre-season from the sideline, so he's not too bad.''

Reserve halfback Willi Heinz also has a good range.