NZ Herald

Hurricanes winger Kobus van Wyk has revealed his side’s cheeky plan to stop Beauden Barrett on his rugby return.

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Barrett will make his debut for the Blues next month in the opening round of Super Rugby Aotearoa, going up against his former side when the Blues take on the Hurricanes at Eden Park on June 14.

Van Wyk wasn’t part of the Hurricanes squads which Barrett marshalled, but revealed that the team was hoping they could “get under his skin” when the two sides return after their enforced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“We just have to stop him apparently – he’s quite quick they say,” joked van Wyk.

“That’s basically the talk in the camp – just to stop him a little bit, get under his skin.”

Barrett turned heads in training when he produced a personal best in the ‘bronco’ fitness test at the Blues’ first training session, but van Wyk noted that the Hurricanes are in good shape too.

“I think most of the boys are up there with their fitness levels, a couple of them did their personal bests with the bronco, so I think everyone did their part in lockdown.

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“I think everyone will be a bit rusty, but we’re in the right direction with the stuff we’re doing so hopefully that gets us on top.”

One Hurricane who came in for particular praise from his Hurricanes coaches during fitness training was Beauden’s brother Jordie, who is eager to go up against his older sibling.

“When I looked to the schedule and saw we had the Blues up there first game, I guess you couldn’t have set the scene any better,” Barrett told Sky TV’s The Breakdown.

“It’s been a really good week to come back into training. There’s a good buzz in the group and everyone’s excited. I guess we’re grateful to be in a position where we can get back and train and compete again,” he said.

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Jordie Barrett, who has played 54 games for the Hurricanes, said he’s hoping to have a bigger influence on the field across the next eight games.

“For me it’s bigger picture. I’m always going to be learning but trying to use experiences in the past to make me a better footy player and play in those different positions. Grow in my game to be a leader in the Hurricanes group and try and drive us around the park and have a lot more influence on our results.”

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission.

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