Scott Barrett's changed approach to Crusaders captaincy

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As a result, he won't be piling more pressure on himself in the role when resuming with the Crusaders in Super Rugby Aotearoa, a competition that injury forced him to miss in 2020.

 

There had been unknowns in the demands of leadership as he went into the role for the first time last year.

 

"I reflected, probably [that] I was putting a wee bit too much pressure on myself as captain.

 

"I think it has done me wonders. I am looking forward to this year," he said ahead of Saturday's hastily-assembled game of three halves against the Blues and Chiefs in Hamilton.

 

Forced to sit back and watch the side perform through the intensity of the new competition under the captaincy of hooker Codie Taylor, Barrett said that with more experience, and watching the game, he was able to filter what was, and wasn't, important.

 

"You try not to get bogged down with all the clutter and just focus on what is important," he said.

 

The realisation emerged that what was important was playing well for the team and leading through his actions.

 

 

And he was looking forward to getting back into action on Saturday at the start of a new season.

 

Barrett said the prospect that the players may have to face three rounds of Super Rugby Aotearoa this year if the Australian competition is not possible, was not necessarily tougher, but it was different.

 

While they might be playing three rounds of local derbies, they were not having to travel to South Africa and to adjust to playing at altitude in Johannesburg or Pretoria.

 

Coach Scott Robertson said there had been a lot of permutations around how the weekend would look while awaiting the government's decision on levels but they had prepared well and were looking forward to the opportunity.

 

Commenting on Josh McKay's decision to take up a contract with Glasgow next season, Robertson said he had received a good offer and he was still young enough to come back in the future.

 

He didn't get a full contract with the Crusaders and he had a firm offer in front of him and has taken it.

 

"He's got for 18 months; is it going to be longer or could he come back? We'll see," he said.