As one Barrett comes in, another goes out for the Hurricanes this week.
Star playmaker Beauden Barrett is expected to return to Super Rugby action on Friday as he prepares to take on the Brumbies in Wellington, fresh after their shock 54-17 thumping of the Chiefs in Canberra last weekend.
His anticipated addition to the match day squad will offset the omission of younger brother Jordie, who is set to sit the match out as part of a mandatory All Blacks rest week.
The younger Barrett has played 160 of his 180 scheduled minutes inside the opening fortnight of Super Rugby, and so he will not train with the side again until next Monday.
Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland told Fairfax that Beauden – who wasn’t considered for selection in the Hurricanes’ dismal 38-22 defeat to the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday – is fully available for this week’s trans-Tasman encounter, which has lifted morale within the squad.
“Beaudy is in the conversation. He’s been gunning to play, so he’s ready to go,” Holland said.
“Beaudy brings leadership, he’s got experience and is a calm head. He’s bossed things already really well this week.
“Apart from the exciting things Beaudy can bring, we’ve got to do the simple things around him to give him the space to let him and the other boys have a bit of fun.
“Every time you get an experienced All Black back it’s a big lift to the boys and that’s what’s happened this week.”
Wider training squad member Chase Tiatia looms as a possible replacement for Jordie at fullback as James Marshall nurses a shoulder injury sustained against the Waratahs in round one.
One-test loose forward Gareth Evans is set to join Marshall in the medical ward with a calf strain, while big lock Sam Lousi is set to spend the rest of the season on the sidelines after sustaining a pectoral injury.
He’s set to be replaced by former Lions lock Andries Ferreira, who Holland confirmed was in talks with the club.
“We’ve got a season-ender [Lousi] and locks to replace,” Holland said.
“We’re talking to him, he’s talking to us, but nothing has been done yet. Both parties have shown a bit of interest.”
In more positive news, the Hurricanes are set to welcome back loose forwards Ardie Savea and Vaea Fifita from All Blacks rest and a hamstring injury, respectively.
They, alongside Beauden Barrett, should provide the Hurricanes with the wherewithal to bounce back from their thrashing at the hands of the Crusaders, which Holland described as “not acceptable”.
“We were disappointed with our performance. There were a lot of things, especially in that first half, which are things we can’t continue to do otherwise we won’t win games. Things around our discipline, things around turning over the ball.
“It didn’t really matter who that side was in the first half, if you give them the ball in those parts of the field, turn the ball over or give away stupid penalties, then we’re going to battle.
“It’s been a big learning for us and hopefully we don’t see those pictures again.
“In the second half we started to do things really well. We held onto the ball, we put teams under pressure.
“We know that if we play the Hurricanes game we’ll put teams under pressure.”
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