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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 25 October 2020

Hurricanes 10 Barrett in impressive All Blacks audition against the Rebels

Barrett is up against Aaron Cruden and Lima Sopoaga for the Kiwis’ 10 shirt.

BEAUDEN BARRETT LAID down a marker in the race for the All Blacks’ 10 shirt with an outstanding display in the Hurricanes’ 38-13 win against Tony McGahan’s Rebels in Melbourne.

The 24-year-old out-half scored two tries and kicked four conversions, while Victor Vito, Cory Jane, Jason Woodward and Ardie Savea all touched down for five pointers.

Barrett’s impressive performance was a timely one, with Aaron Cruden and Lima Sopoaga both in excellent form so far in this Super Rugby season.

Source: SANZAAR/YouTube

Dan Carter’s retirement from Test rugby after the World Cup last year has left an obvious vacancy in Steve Hansen’s All Blacks XV and Cruden, Barrett and the once-capped Sopoaga have been marked out as the front-line contenders.

27-year-old Cruden has been leading a stunning Chiefs attack this season, though he has not yet taken over place-kicking duties from Damian McKenzie as he continues to build strength after the knee injury that deprived him of a chance of featuring in the World Cup.

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25-year-old Sopoaga, meanwhile, has controlled the Highlanders impressively from the 10 shirt outside All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith, with his kicking game continuing to grow under the tutelage of Tony Brown.

Barrett’s opening Super Rugby games were quiet by his standards, but the 36-times capped Kiwi is beginning to find his best form as the Hurricanes do the same.

20-year-old McKenzie has played much of his rugby at out-half, but has been starring for the Chiefs at fullback this season.

Whatever way Hansen goes with his out-half selection for the Rugby Championship, which begins in August, Joe Schmidt will be keeping a close eye on proceedings ahead of Ireland’s two meetings with the All Blacks later this year.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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