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Why Beauden Barrett is ‘lucky’ injury didn’t end Rugby World Cup dream

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

With just three months to go until this year’s Rugby World Cup, All Blacks fans can breathe easy as star playmaker Beauden Barrett prepares to return from a gruesome sidelines stint.

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But in his own words, Barrett admitted he’s “lucky” it wasn’t any worse.

A cut to the heel could’ve ended the 32-year-old’s Rugby World Cup campaign months before it started.

Last month, Barrett limped off the sacred turf at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, and disappeared down the tunnel – but the extent of his injury was unknown at the time.

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Barrett eventually returned to the sidelines with a smile on his face, and watched on as the Blues recorded a convincing 26-45 win over the Reds.

But the prognosis was anything but tame.

It was later confirmed that Barrett had sustained a serious cut to his heel, which ended up ruling the star playmaker out of the Blues’ final two regular season fixtures.

“It hasn’t been frustrating, the expectations had been clear early on that it could take some time to heal,” Barrett told reporters.

“It was a deep cut, it’s got a fair amount of stiches in there.

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“The concern was to push the range and pop the stiches, if my eagerness took over, but I was pretty patient and trusted what the docs were saying.

“So here I am, I’m available for the quarter-finals.”

But the Rugby World Cup winner is back – and what a time to return.

The Blues are preparing to host the NSW Waratahs in a blockbuster quarter-final on Saturday, and Barrett is set to lead the Aucklanders around the park from flyhalf.

Barrett will link up with All Blacks teammate Finlay Christie in the halves, and play inside of explosive backs including Rieko Ioane and Mark Telea.

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But had things gone a little bit differently in Brisbane, Barrett might not have returned for the Blues at all in 2023 – or the All Blacks for that matter.

While explaining how “lucky” he was, Barrett said the injury “could’ve” ended the All Blacks’ rugby year.

“It was a sprig straight across my Achilles,” he added. “It did everything but get the tendon.

“It was a good gash – I must have been pretty lucky for it not to nick the tendon.

“I am fresh and I’ve got a spring in my step, it’s quarter-final week, everything’s on the line, the sun’s out (and) the guys are pretty excited.”

The Blues will host the Waratahs at Auckland’s Eden Park at 7.35pm NZST on Friday night.

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Comments

2 Comments
G
G 404 days ago

Don't need him at RWC but has been a great servant

A
Andrew 404 days ago

Just in time to try and do his best to help the Waratahs stay in the game by his normal aimless hoof and hope tactical kicking.

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J
Jon 4 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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