The Blues have secured one of the biggest signings in recent times by agreeing a four year deal with two-time World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett.
This is a move that has surprised some fans, particularly Hurricanes supporters, as the Blues finished bottom of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference last season, while the Canes were arguably the second best team in the competition, losing narrowly to the champions the Crusaders in the semi-final.
However, it is down to personal reasons that he has made this move, as his family now live in Auckland.
The Blues have been the perennial underachievers in Super Rugby compared to their national rivals. The other four New Zealand sides have won the competition over the past decade, while the Blues have languished at the foot of the table. This is despite making a number of high profile signings. But there has not been one as big as this, and the excitement and expectation amongst Blues fans is rising again.
It is a long lasting joke in New Zealand that the Blues’ enter the competition with high hopes each year, only to have them dashed within a few weeks. Once again there is a lot of optimism going into the 2020 season, but that is understandable given the pedigree of the fly-half.
Furthermore, Blues fans are hoping that this deal for Beauden will lure his brothers Jordie and Scott to Auckland as well. Fullback Jordie has played alongside Beauden at the Hurricanes all his Super Rugby career to date, while lock Scott plays for the Crusaders.
Signing either of these All Blacks would be the cherry on the cake to what is already a marvellous signing.
This is what the fans have said:
Scotty too ??
— jandle slappa (@jandleslappa) July 12, 2019
Barrett is going to take an extended break after the World Cup, meaning he will miss the start of the 2020 season. Additionally, the New Zealand Rugby Union have agreed that he can take a stint in Japan at some point over the next four years. But the Blues will still undoubtedly benefit from his class whenever he plays, and the fans are filled with confidence again.
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