Andrew Matthews
killer b

Beauden Barrett's back! And that's good news for NZ chances in two World Cups

Otere Black will land in Italy in good time to face Ireland in the JWC.

BEAUDEN BARRETT, WHO could be New Zealand’s starting out-half at this year’s World Cup, will return from injury with a Super XV start for the Hurricanes tomorrow.

Barrett has missed a month with a knee injury sustained in action against the Crusaders and (his direct rivals for the All Black number 10 jersey) Dan Carter and Colin Slade.

With Aaron Cruden ruled out until mid-October through injury and Carter not improving at age 33, Barrett has a strong claim for a starting berth at first five-eighth when the Kiwis defend their title in England.

The return of the brilliant 24-year-old for tomorrow morning’s clash with the Highlanders in Napier is also good news for New Zealand in the Junior World Championship. The ‘Canes had been using James Marshall at 10 while keeping Otere Black close to home as injury cover, but with Barrett back the young playmaker has been released to join the young ABs at the Junior World Championship.

As he only set off to Italy yesterday, Black’s first World Cup outing could well be against Nigel Carolan’s Ireland side in the third and final pool fixture next Wednesday, 10 June.

Gibbes extends Clermont contract to end Leinster head coach speculation

Analysis: Bath’s polished diamond structure allows creativity to flourish