Beauden Barrett re-commits to New Zealand Rugby through 2027

December 4, 2023 3:43 pm

[Source: 1News]

Beauden Barrett will play rugby in New Zealand for the next four years after re-signing with New Zealand Rugby and the Blues until the end of 2027.

An NZR statement this morning confirmed that Barrett, currently in Japan playing for Toyota Verblitz in Japan Rugby League One, would be eligible for All Blacks selection on return to New Zealand in 2024 and would return to Super Rugby Pacific in 2025.

Barrett’s decision to return next year will be a boost for new head coach Scott Robertson, who will be without first-choice first-five Richie Mo’unga, now representing Toshiba, for the next three years at least.

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Now considered more of a fullback than a first-five, Barrett will likely target a return to the No.10 jersey. Damian McKenzie will be his main rival for the position.

“It’s a huge privilege to put on the black jersey and one I will never take for granted,” Barrett said.

“I’m still really passionate about playing alongside my brothers Scott and Jordie for Coastal, Taranaki or the All Blacks so looking forward to adding value where I can on my return from Japan. I am also grateful for the continued support from Taranaki, the Blues and New Zealand Rugby.”

Barrett, a 123-Test All Black and two-time World Rugby Player of the Year, has been an integral part of the All Blacks success since his debut in 2012, scoring 734 points and 43 tries during a career that included a Rugby World Cup title in 2015.

His return means he is in the running to challenge Sam Whitelock’s record 153 All Black Test caps.

Robertson said: “Beauden brings an enormous amount of class to the table.

“He is the second most-capped All Black back in history for a reason and to have his knowledge and experience in our game is a reflection of his loyalty.”

Debuting for the Blues in 2020 against his former Super Rugby team the Hurricanes, Barrett has played 30 matches in the Blues jersey, scoring 199 points for the team.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said: “Beauden is not just an exceptional player but also an outstanding leader on and off the field. His return is a testament to the strength and appeal of our rugby environment.

“It’s great to have him return next year and be eligible to continue his career with the All Blacks while also lining up for the Blues the following year, contributing to the ongoing success of rugby in New Zealand.”

Blues boss Andrew Hore said: “Beauden is wonderful to have at the Blues, he’s one of rugby’s good people and treats everyone with respect,” said Hore.

“He’s been a key driver for many of our social projects and community work over the last few years, such as our Covid and flood response, and is someone who’s prepared to share his views in the team environment for the greater good.”