Carter return overshadowed by Barrett fever

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:01 19/06/2013
Beauden Barrett
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
HOMETOWN HERO: Beauden Barrett may not be the star of the All Blacks, but he is the most popular man in New Plymouth this week.

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Lions tour: Shock axing of Julian Savea raises questions Chat recap: Mark Reason on the All Blacks v Lions first test Lions tour: Five key match-ups worth watching for in the first test at Eden Park Lions tour: Steve Hansen gets a bit scratchy when it comes to Kieran Read Lions tour: Ben Te'o braced for Sonny Bill Williams showdown at Eden Park Lions tour: Beauden Barrett keeps it cool ahead of the heat coming his way Lions tour: Aaron Cruden confirmed on All Blacks bench after knee injury concerns Lions tour: Rieko Ioane has the 'mental fortitude' to handle his biggest test Former Taranaki All Blacks savour test match ritual Lions tour: Warren Gatland says Lions will attack All Blacks more than they have all tour

As the rest of the country gets set to welcome Dan Carter back into the fold, a province holds its breath, waiting to see if its favourite son will be included in Saturday's test against France.

It has been a long wait for a Taranaki representative back to become a regular in an All Blacks squad.

In fact, it was the year Beauden Barrett was born when Kieran Crowley last ran out in an All Blacks jersey on a fateful day in Dublin at the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

Sentiment might count for little, however, when Steve Hansen and his fellow selectors scribble out their playing 23 to face France, especially with Carter's likely return and the form of Aaron Cruden in Christchurch.

Barrett's saving grace could be a temptation to give Cruden some down time after a hectic playing schedule for the Chiefs.

''The team is not named until Thursday but it would be a dream come true,'' Barrett said yesterday.

If he does get the nod, the Hurricanes pivot will not get to share the dream with his parents - Kevin and Robyn - who are in France watching No 3 son Scott pack the second row of the New Zealand under-20 scrum.

Nevertheless, Barrett was confident they would ''have plenty of time'' to see him perform in the black jersey in the future.

His immediate focus was on the All Blacks completing a clean sweep of the tourists who have avoided a prolonged stay in Barrett's home province by opting to stay in Auckland until Friday.

Instead of harbouring any selfishness, Barrett was welcoming Carter's return and the competition he provided.

''It keeps us honest and it's what we want in this environment.''

There will be no surfing lessons for his team-mates around the Taranaki coast on the All Blacks day off today, with Barrett admitting he did not possess the required skill set for standing on a wave.

''I body board [because] I can't surf, I'm too stiff,'' he said.

As for Taranaki's second favourite son, Barrett was also hoping he would get the chance to play alongside fellow Francis Douglas College old boy Conrad Smith at Yarrow Stadium, something that looks more likely after Ben Smith was not asked to run at centre during yesterday's training.

''As much as New Plymouth wants it, you can't do much about it. You have to put a team out there and it is the New Zealand All Blacks and the selectors will want to pick the best team to do a job.

''The main thing is we go out there and finish the job at the weekend and wrap the series up.'' 

Ad Feedback

- Taranaki Daily News

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content