Jordie the favourite for All Blacks' No.15 jersey?
SPOTLIGHT: Has Jordie Barrett’s phenomenal season in Super Rugby Aotearoa propelled him into the lead in the race to fill the no.15 jumper for the All Blacks?
The man in charge of the Hurricanes, head coach Jason Holland certainly believes so.
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Holland has been in no doubt Jordie Barrett will be the new starting 15 for the All Blacks after the phenomenal performances he’s put in during Super Rugby Aotearoa.
After missing the Hurricanes first two games of the domestic season with a shoulder injury that was so bad that surgery was even considered, Barrett returned for their third match and pundits, coaches and teammates alike all credited him for the spark that helped turn the team’s season around as they went on to win their next five games in a row.
“I think the 15 jersey is pretty much sewn up as I see it,” Holland told reporters on Monday.
Ian Foster the new All Black head coach, who took over the mantle following éight years as previous coach Steve Hansen’s assistant, has been scheduled to name his first All Black squad later this month. This is the squad that will, COVID-19 permitting, do duty for New Zealand in the Rugby Championships in September
While Barrett made the All Blacks in 2017 it was noticed that some areas of his game not up to scratch and he copped some criticism.
However, he has improved his game in leaps and bounds this year on attack and defence.
His biggest challengers for the All Black no.15 jumper are as follows:
- Older brother Beauden – who is normally a flyhalf. but has been playing for the Blues at 15 allowing Otere Black to develop to 10.
- Chiefs’ Damian McKenzie – McKenzie hasn’t been at his sparkling best this season and one has to question if his playing style hasn’t changed under new coach Warren Gatland?
- Crusaders Will Jordan – Jordan has made arguably the biggest move during Super Rugby Aotearoa where he has been sublime at both fullback and wing leading the stats in the most tries, most running meters, most defenders beaten and fourth in most ball carries. An impressive debut from the young man to say the least.