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Blues exploring legality of bringing Beauden Barrett back for playoffs

By Ned Lester
Beauden Barrett runs out for the Blues. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The injury-struck Blues have revealed they are seeking clarity over the Super Rugby Pacific laws after the return of star playmaker Beauden Barrett from his sabbatical in Japan.


With fullback Zarn Sullivan suffering what is likely to be a season-ending knee injury and first five-eighth Stephen Perofeta absent from the team sheet since round six’s win over Moana Pasifika, the Blues have a need for additional cover in the two positions Barrett specialises in.

The team publicised that Barrett is now back in town and training with the squad regardless of his chances of taking the field. The playoffs are now just three weeks away and the Blues currently boast the best record in the competition.

“Beauden is back from Japan and given he’s contracted with the Blues in 2025 and lives in Auckland, he’s back training with the team,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Blues are seeking clarification around the application process for including Barrett at the [club] for the remainder of this season.”

But just a week ago, New Zealand Rugby’s head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum appeared on Newstalk ZB’s Rugby Direct Podcast and clarified this exact issue.

“You’re unlikely to see any of them in Super Rugby,” Lendrum said. “The competition rules are that anyone playing offshore as of April 1 in a Super competition year can’t play in the finals.

“The very most you would see is someone coming back in as an emergency replacement for a few games to fill a gap.

“Even then, they need dispensation from the competition. Obviously, it’s not impossible, but it’s not that likely.”

Barrett isn’t the only returning All Black back training with his Super Rugby squad, with Sam Cane also rejoining the Chiefs this week.

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Ardie Savea is also back in Wellington and shared a clip of him and his Hurricanes teammates enjoying some kava on Monday.


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Jen 28 days ago

Just give BB some time off. They don’t need him.

Mike 29 days ago

Sam like many had passed their use by dates and that is down to the selectors, not the player. I wasn't a Sam fan, but he didn’t deserve Bidwells brutally honest opinion. Could have been more diplomatic.

BMac 29 days ago

Should not even be in the thought to bring Barrett back,the team is going well and remember 2 season ago when the blues were going well & got out thought & out played in the final all Barrett did was needlessly kick away posession again and again, pass to players in worse positions as to avoid contact and for the Blues and AB proved costly in crucial games.

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