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Beauden Barrett set for 150th Super Rugby match as Blues name team

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Playmaker Beauden Barrett will play his 150th Super Rugby match on Saturday when the Blues host the NSW Waratahs at Eden Park.

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Barrett made his Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes in 2011, and has gone on to achieve almost unrivalled success in the sport.

The flyhalf famously led the Hurricanes to their first-ever Super Rugby title in 2016, where he was crowned the Player of the Final on a wet and windy day in Wellington.

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While Barrett will certainly be remembered as a legend of the Hurricanes, the pivot moved north to the Blues a few years ago.

Barrett played a starring role in the Blues’ impressive winning streak last season, which saw the Auckland-based make the final at Eden Park.

Midfielder Harry Plummer will also play his 50th match in Blues colours when he runs out onto Eden Park this weekend.

“As players we all know the sacrifice and commitment needed to reach those milestones so I want to congratulate Beaudy and Harry on their 150th and 50th respectively, as well as Sam Darry who brings up his 20th ‘blazer game’ for us on Saturday night,” captain Patrick Tuipulotu said.

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“It’s always an honour to lead the Blues and this weekend will be no different.

“We want to put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season and really kick-start some momentum (heading) into the second half of our campaign.”

Coming off the bye, the Blues are looking to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season. While it was a couple of weeks ago now, Barrett put on a masterclass in the win over the Rebels.

Captain Dalton Papali’i has been ruled out of the match due to a rib injury, so All Black Patrick Tuipulotu will lead the team as the skipper in round nine.

Tuipulotu will pack down alongside a familiar looking fight five, while Anton Segner, Adrian Choat and Hoskins Sotutu round out the forwards.

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As for the backline, the Blues have some incredible talent to choose from every week. Every player in the backline, except milestone man Harry Plummer, has played international rugby for the All Blacks.

Beauden Barrett will partner Finlay Christie in the halves, while Plumer while run out alongside Rieko Ioane in the midfield.

Blues coach Leon MacDonald said the team is “exuding energy and focus” after returning from the bye week.

“The bye week came at a good time for the boys, and it’s been pleasing to see them return to work this week exuding energy and focus,” MacDonald said a statement.

“There’s no easy game in this competition and the Waratahs pose threats across the park, we’ve had a good look at the video and have a few ideas on where we want to attack them on Saturday night.”

The match is set to kick-off at 7.05pm NZST at Auckland’s Eden Park.

Blues team to take on Waratahs

  1. Ofa Tu’ungafasi
  2. Ricky Riccitelli
  3. Nepo Laulala
  4. Patrick Tuipulotu (c)
  5. Sam Darry
  6. Anton Segner
  7. Adrian Choat
  8. Hoskins Sotutu
  9. Finlay Christie
  10. Beauden Barrett
  11. Caleb Clarke
  12. Harry Plummer
  13. Rieko Ioane
  14. Mark Telea
  15. Stephen Perofeta

Replacements:

  1. Soane Vikena
  2. Jordan Lay
  3. James Lay
  4. Cameron Suafoa
  5. Akira Ioane
  6. Sam Nock
  7. Bryce Heem
  8. Zarn Sullivan

Players not considered: Alex Hodgman, AJ Lam, Dalton Papali’i, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

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finn 9 hours ago
Massive red flag raised by weakened Champions Cup teams – Andy Goode

I wonder if the problem of some teams not taking it that seriously would be helped by making performance in the champions cup count towards qualification and/or seeding in the following year’s competition. Eg. top four seeds would be winners of the URC, premiership, and top 14, plus best performing team in the previous year’s CC who have not otherwise qualified. Doing that the seedings for this years comp. would have been: Tier one: Saracens - Munster - Toulouse - la Rochelle Tier two: Sale - Stormers - Racing 92 - Leinster Tier three: Leicester - Connacht - Bordeaux - Exeter Tier four: Northampton - Ulster - Lyon - Sharks Tier five: Harlequins - Glasgow - Stade Francais - Edinburgh Tier six: Bath - Bulls - Toulon - Ospreys The competition would probably work better with fewer teams, so I’d probably favour only the first 4 tiers being invited, and then going straight to a quarter final without a round of 16. On the one hand this would possibly incentivise teams to take the champions cup seriously, and on the other it would mean that the latter stages would be more likely to involve teams that have demonstrated a willingness to take the competition seriously. The main differences between my proposed system and the actual draw is that mine would give la Rochelle a fairly easy ride to the quarters, and would either exclude the Bulls entirely or would give then an insurmountably difficult draw. As it happened Exeter got quite an easy pool draw but that was a bit of a fluke. My system would reward Exeter for being one of the teams that demonstrably devote a lot of attention to the CC by guaranteeing them a good draw.

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