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Beauden Barrett still battling concussion ahead of Super Rugby Pacific

By Sam Smith
(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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All Blacks star Beauden Barrett has revealed he is still struggling with concussion symptoms a month out from the kick-off of the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific season.

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Barrett missed New Zealand’s final test of 2021 against France in Paris last November after he left the field due to a head knock during his side’s 29-20 defeat to Ireland in Dublin the week beforehand.

Speaking to Newshub, the 30-year-old playmaker said he is still feeling the implications of that injury two months after he sustained the knock.

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“[I’m] still sort of getting over a few ongoing issues from the Irish game,” Barrett told Newshub. “I’m taking it very lightly, and will hopefully get on top of it soon. But I’ve certainly had a well-rested time off.”

The two-time World Rugby Player of the Year’s comments may be a source of concern for the Blues, especially as the Auckland-based franchise have only just regained Barrett’s services following his season-long sabbatical in Japan last year.

Barrett’s deal with Suntory Sungoliath meant the Blues were without their marquee player, who made seven appearances in his debut campaign for the franchise in 2020 after moving north from the Hurricanes, for all of last year.

Blues boss Leon MacDonald will undoubtedly be eager, then, to bring Barrett back into the selection frame as soon as possible, even more so considering the departure of last year’s starting first-five Otere Black to the Shining Arcs in Japan.

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However, Barrett’s return to the Blues may take longer than hoped for should his concussion symptoms persist, but the 101-test veteran, who reasserted himself as the first-choice All Blacks No 10 throughout last year’s test campaign, remained upbeat about his playing chances.

“I’m pretty confident I’ll get back for the start of the season,” he told Newshub. “At the moment, [I’m] just taking it very lightly.”

The Blues get their Super Rugby Pacific campaign underway with a cross-town derby against expansion side Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on February 18.

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