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'Dan Carter, he's done': Ex-Wallaby on why Beauden Barrett can't be written off

By Kim Ekin
Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett run through drills during a Blues Super Rugby training session at Blues HQ on June 12, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Former Wallaby midfielder Morgan Turinui has explained why Blues first five-eighth Beauden Barrett can’t be written off for the All Blacks despite patchy form in Super Rugby Pacific.

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Turinui recalls a very similar sentiment towards All Black legend Dan Carter in 2015 ahead of his final run at that year’s World Cup in England which proved to be ill-placed as the All Black first five went on to win it.

The ex-Wallaby revealed he held doubts over Carter during the Super Rugby season with the Crusaders after watching some less than impressive performances.

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“I still remember in 2015, watching Super Rugby and then the early Tests before the World Cup, and I said to myself ‘Dan Carter, he’s done’,” he said on Stan Sport’s Between Two Posts podcast.

“He’s not going to make it to the World Cup, he’s no good.”

The Crusaders slumped to a 7th place finish in the 2015 Super Rugby season missing out on the playoffs altogether as the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders all secured qualification.

Highlanders’ title-winning No 10 Lima Sopoaga was handed a start for the All Blacks against the Springboks in South Africa during the Rugby Championship, winning on debut in the Republic with a starring performance.

However with Carter back at the helm the All Blacks lost to the Wallabies in Sydney during the final game of the Rugby Championship which handed the Wallabies the trophy.

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The All Blacks bounced back at home at Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup but doubts persisted over Carter’s form.

When it came to the World Cup squad, Sopoaga missed selection while the experienced Carter was given a plane ticket.

“He did, he still had it, and he carried them through that semi in South Africa,” Turinui said of the 2015 World Cup.

“They do not win that World Cup without that semi-final performance against South Africa.”

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With over 100 Test matches under his belt, Beauden Barrett is one of the most capped All Blacks in the current squad much like Carter was in 2015.

Barrett will be 32 years old in France which is still younger than Carter was at the 2015 World Cup (33 years old).

Turinui said that his Super Rugby form with the Blues will count for nothing when the All Blacks play in France.

Rebounding against the Rebels, Barrett had some brilliant attacking moments but made only four from 10 kicks at goal from an off night with the tee.

“I’m saying don’t read to much into it [Super Rugby form]. I was watching him going ‘This is not him’,” he said of his performance against the Rebels.

“Even his goal kicking, it’s not like him. We’re used to him kicking it and he slots the one from the sideline when it’s the hardest kick of the night.

“He’s getting older – you’ve got a family, you’ve got other things happening, you’ve got all the other peripheral noise that you’ve got in a World Cup year, in New Zealand.

“You’re always measured against Mo’unga. You’re starting to be measured against Damien McKenzie. Justin Harrison talked about perhaps he doesn’t get picked, maybe.

“I think 34 people will go to win the World Cup for the All Blacks, I dare say he’ll be getting a seat on the plane as well, for sure.”

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