Bulked up Jordie Barrett close to return

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

The Hurricanes, and All Blacks, colt has more of the thoroughbred look ahead of his return in 2018, a return anticipated to be at fullback but which offers some prospects of the midfield role he is also capable of.

He's expecting to be back in action in either round three or four.

"That's the target at the moment but I'm just trying to tick boxes and get back out on the park," he said.

Barrett's injury was something of a double whammy, he said. More than suffering a season-ending injury he was more disappointed at losing the Super Rugby semifinal against the Lions in Johannesburg.

He said he got over the disappointments both with the loss and the injury suffered in the game 'pretty quickly'.

"I tried to look at it as a positive and a good opportunity to get my body right."

It had been a busier season than he anticipated with opportunities arising from injuries to others and thrusting him into a spotlight which saw him make his Test debut against the British & Irish Lions.

But at the time of the injury he wasn't feeling too much was wrong with his body, however, he wondered if the accumulation of top play may have had an effect on him in the latter stages of the season.

"Mum and a few other people around me were telling me I had had a big few months so it might have been a blessing in disguise," he said.

Having to step up in such a pressure series against the Lions he said wasn't quite overwhelming but he did appreciate how significant the situation was.

"It was really good to be part of that and gaining experience in pressure situations," he said.

In so far as the semifinal loss was concerned, the Hurricanes had put that disappointment behind them and were excited about trying to go one better this year, he said.

"We haven't lost too many guys, there's the experienced guys there, quite a number of All Blacks and again, quite a number of age group guys coming through our Under-20s and on the perimeter that are pushing hard for positions as well.

"There's good healthy competition in the group so everyone is keeping each other on their toes," he said.

At the moment he is hoping to be considered for the first of the Hurricanes big home derbies, against the Crusaders, in Wellington on March 10.