Could the Hurricanes turn to a former Cane to replace Beauden Barrett?

Could the Hurricanes turn to a former Cane to replace Beauden Barrett?

All Black flyhalf and two-time World Rugby Player of the Year, Beauden Barrett's move to the Blues could cause somewhat of domino-effect on flyhalf movement in New Zealand.

New Zealand Rugby announced that Barrett has signed a new four-year deal to remain in New Zealand until the next Rugby World Cup. As part of his new contract, he will take an extended break away from the game at the end of 2019 and start with the Blues midway through next year's Super season. He also has an option to take a short playing break in Japan sometime over the next four years, with any break to be negotiated with NZR and the Blues.

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The Blues have finally got their hands on a world-class flyhalf ✍️

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The Blues have ample flyhalf cover with Harry Plummer, Otere Black and Stephen Perofeta who were all contracted to the franchise before Barrett's arrival. 

Perofeta spent the entire 2019 season on the sidelines with an injury while Plummer and Black rotating the #10 jersey throughout the season. However, with Barrett arriving in Auckland, it is likely that the Blues could let one of their flyhalves to leave the franchise early.

The Hurricanes have Jackson Garden-Bachop and Fletcher Smith on their books for next season but neither player has truly stamped their mark on the side. The Hurricanes could convince the Blues to allow Otere Black to make a return to Wellington, where he served as Barrett's understudy between 2015 and 2017 before joining the Blues as he went in search of more game time.

Black did not make a single appearance for the Blues in 2018, due to injury, but did standout for the Blues in 2019. His move to the Hurricanes could be ideal for the playmaker who has been a regular in the Maori All Blacks and did manage to impress off the bench for the Hurricanes.

Perofeta could serve as the Blues fullback during the 2020 season, with Melani Nanai leaving the side to join Worcester Warriors, with Matt Duffie and Michael Collins used as utility backs over the past two seasons.

Since the confirmation of Beauden Barrett's signing, his younger brother Jordie has also been linked with a move to the Blues to join his brother. Jordie's contract with the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby expires after the Rugby World Cup in Japan and has also been talked up with a move to the Crusaders.

The Chiefs only have Damian McKenzie contracted for the 2020 season while the Highlanders picked up the signing of Mitch Hunt and are stacked with Josh Ioane and Bryn Gatland on their books. The Crusaders, meanwhile, have All Blacks Brett Cameron and Richie Mo'unga on their books for 2020.

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