Hurricanes coach: Chats with Barrett have all been 'positive'

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Radio Sport,
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Audio,
Publish Date
Thursday, 2 May 2019, 6:30PM
John Plumtree hopes that Beauden Barrett will stay. (Photo / Photosport)
John Plumtree hopes that Beauden Barrett will stay. (Photo / Photosport)

Beauden Barrett will know where his future lies in the coming weeks, and Hurricanes coach John Plumtree appears confident it will lie in New Zealand.

Like many All Blacks, the incumbent first five-eighth is off contract at the end of the season and likely to have a number of lucrative contract offers from clubs abroad. However, speaking to D'Arcy and Goran, Plumtree said conversations he had been having with Barrett about the decision had all been promising.

"First prize for us is that he stays at the Hurricanes in some capacity," Plumtree said.

"There might be a sabbatical involved or he might decide to go and play overseas. The chats that I've had with him have all been pretty positive around playing for New Zealand Rugby and his future in New Zealand Rugby, so I think we can probably wait for the rest."

A two-time World Rugby player of the year, Barrett and his team have been assessing their options in recent times and told the Radio Sport Breakfast he hoped to be able to announce his plans in the coming weeks.

Late last year reports emerged out of France that clubs were willing to pay the 27-year-old upwards of $2 million a year to lure him overseas, while a sabbatical in Japan was also reported as a possibility.

Barrett wouldn't be the only All Blacks star to take some time in Japan. On Wednesday it was announced Sam Whitelock had re-signed with New Zealand Rugby for four years, however his contract had a few points of interest included.

Whitelock will play in Japan following this year's World Cup, which will see him miss the 2020 Super Rugby season. He has also been granted exit clauses in his contract, with NZR admitting they needed to show flexibility in their negotiations with top players.

Speaking about Whitelock's contract, NZR boss Steve Tew said: "We know our players have a number of choices to make when it comes to where they play their rugby and we have to be flexible when it comes to renegotiating with our leading players."

Barrett said Whitelock's contract could lead to a number of other players trying to negotiate extras into their own clauses going forward.

"There's no harm in asking. NZR will have some tough decisions to make on where they draw the line. A lot of players will push as hard as they can but it comes down to the protocols or rules the NZR have and they'll make the decisions at the end of the day."

 

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