Don’t be surprised to hear Gordon Tietjens name All Black first five Beauden Barrett as one of his first big selections for the Olympics in Rio next year.
(Photo credit: Daily Telegraph via Google Images)
Fairfax Media reported in April that Barrett had thrown his name into the hat for sevens selection next year, but hadn’t spoken to Teitjens personally.
Barrett confirmed he has had discussions with the NZRU regarding his contract that will see him remain with the Hurricanes until the end of 2016.
Barrett has been sidelined from rugby since early may after sustaining a ligament tear in his knee.
With Daniel Carter and Colin Slade heading off shore, plus Aaron Cruden turning down the offer, Barrett now remains one of the leading high-profile All Blacks who Teitjens will be hoping to select for Rio.
Fellow Hurricane player Julian Savea has also admitted to being highly interested in going to the Olympics.
Barrett has always been an elusive player with ball in hand, his footwork is pristine, and his speed able to match some of sevens most dangerous talents.
There is no doubting that Barrett’s selection in the Olympic side would be a credit to Teitjens.
Don’t expect a decision to be announced anytime soon though – Barrett must thing long and hard about what missing what could potentially be a year of 15-man rugby should he decide to play sevens.
Barrett may be the first pick All Black starter at first five come the World Cup if he is fit.
But out of all the options that Gordon Teitjens has to pick from, Barrett remains most likely.