13 Jun 2019

Hurricanes showering Beaudy with love

3:07 pm on 13 June 2019

The Hurricanes are sharing the love as they do everything they can to keep first Beauden Barrett at the super rugby franchise amidst speculation the All Blacks first five is being chased by the Blues.

Barrett is off contract with New Zealand Rugby after the World Cup and is also being chased by overseas clubs.

Hurricanes captain Beauden Barrett speaks to his team during the Hurricanes vs Stormers Super Rugby match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday the 23rd of March 2019. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

The Hurricanes coach John Plumtree says Barrett is key a part part of their plans and its understandable his playing future attracts a lot of attention.

"We go through the process along with New Zealand (Rugby) and Beaudy knows just how much we love him here. He's a Hurricane and he's been a Hurricane for a long time and he's still got lots of rugby left in him and we want him to carry on in our jersey," he said.

"It's no different to (fellow All Blacks) Sam Whitelock and Brodie Rettallick. The boys just go through what they want to do. Do they want to see another World Cup? Do they want to go off offshore and make money? Do they want overseas experience, do other things with their lives or do they want to carry on in New Zealand Rugby and play more for the All Blacks?" said Plumtree.

Yesterday All Blacks and Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick has signed a new three-year deal with New Zealand Rugby, but he'll play overseas before returning to New Zealand in 2021.

In a sign of the growing challenge of keeping New Zealand's top talent in the country in the face of cash rich overseas clubs, NZR have given Retallick approval to leave at the end of the year and play two seasons in Japan's Top League in 2020 and 2021, with an extended family break in between.

He will then return to rugby in New Zealand in May 2021 and play through to the end of the 2023 season.

Beauden Barrett is 28 and the same age as Rettallick and no doubt pondering similar contract options.

Leon MacDonald.

The Blues are no doubt putting their hands up for Beauden Barrett. Photo: Photosport

Blues coach Leon MacDonald refused to be drawn on speculation Barrett could be headed for the Auckland-based franchise.

MacDonald said he doesn't want to comment on whether the Blues have made an official approach to Barrett.

"Every time a high profile player comes off contract, there's going to be interest from every club, there's going to be speculation and this is no different.

"We've seen it with our own players, speculation about players coming on and off contract.

"As is the Blues protocol, we're not going to speculate on signings, players, there's no benefit."