Barrett drops in on Blues training

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All Blacks first five-eighths/fullback Beauden Barrett was checking out his new Blues Investec Super Rugby side at their training session ahead of their game with the Crusaders on Wednesday.


Barrett is still a month or two from lining up with his new franchise but was along to check out how things were shaping with the side.


Assistant coach Tom Coventry said Barrett had been with the side in the pre-season but had been away recently. He dropped in to see how things were going while the Blues were also checking him out to see how he was doing.


"It's been good to have him back around and introduced him to a few of the players who haven't met him.


"He's in great nick, he's a true professional. He knows how to keep himself in shape when he's away from the team. He looks like he's good.



"He's going to be short of a few games of footy but we've got a plan around how we get him ready to play and it won't be too long before he is back with us," he said.


Before he did appear in the side his plan involved him getting through two club games, possibly a game with the development side and the 'return-to-play' protocol.


"As long as he can tick those boxes and make sure he feels comfortable stepping back into Super Rugby and being the best he can be then we'll be fine," Coventry said.


All the interest and attention being placed on Barrett's arrival was not a distraction. Coventry said the side was focused on what was ahead of them.


"The guys who are playing in that role at the moment are doing a good job and we're spending a lot of time making sure they get a fair crack in that role because things can change. Beauden might get injured in round one and we might have to use the guys that are doing the role.


"It's all about the team that is on the grass at the moment. We're looking at what we can do to help them get through and we'll welcome Beauden back when it's his time," he said.


Hooker James Parsons who is having his first start of the season said the younger players in the squad were excited at having Barrett around which was understandable given he had played 100 Super games and nearly 100 Tests.


But at the same time there was a realisation that winning a championship was about having a squad so it wasn't all about Beauden Barrett but rather the team moving into the future together.


"When he comes back, of course we'll open our arms and welcome him but as Tom said he's got to tick a few boxes so we'll just focus on this week's game and then work with him once he's back," he said.