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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 25 October 2020
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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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