‘Beauden is a unique proposition’

Date published: July 3 2016

New Zealand head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum admits they face a unique task in striking a deal to keep hold of Beauden Barrett.

The 25-year-old, who has more than shown his quality to both the Hurricanes and All Blacks over the years, if often used from the bench.

However, the fly-half must surely be eager for more minutes in the international game and with overseas clubs circling, he is in demand.

For New Zealand he's often utilised as an impact substitute, coming on at either number 10 or at full-back and packing plenty of punch.

And that is why Lendrum is facing a dilemma as the All Blacks look to lock in the player who is out of contract at the end of this season.

"It's fair to say Beauden is a unique proposition," Lendrum told the Sunday Star Times. "Clearly he's a match winner – he's shown that the last two weeks and previously.

"We are fortunate in New Zealand to sometimes not even have match winners in our starting XV. Beauden has the capability to play 10, 15, come on in the 23 jersey and probably other positions as well.

"He's a guy who is challenging the way we think about contracting value. We're having a good constructive discussion about that."

Lendrum added on the process: "Performance has the potential to change value.

"The discussions are really constructive at the moment. We're really confident he likes being in New Zealand; he's got a lot more to give to the game here. He is in some senses approaching the peak of his powers but I'd say he's also got more to give.  

"There's always a risk of offshore clubs coming into the mix. It's not something we're losing sleep over with Beauden but we're not naive enough to think that it couldn't happen."