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'Canes duo eyeing ABs starting roles

22nd April 2014 09:18


Hurricanes fly half Beauden Barrett in full flow

Beauden Barrett: Set to face England

Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett and hooker Dane Coles have set their sights on securing All Blacks starting berths later this year.

The 'Canes are currently on a three-match winning streak, after beating the Crusaders, Bulls and Blues, with Barrett and Coles have played major roles in changing the Wellington-based franchise's fortunes after a slow start to their Super Rugby campaign.

With Dan Carter on a sabbatical and Aaron Cruden sidelined through injury, for at least another month, Barrett could be the starting pivot when New Zealand host England in a three-Test series during June.

"With DC not being there and Aza being out of action the selectors will be looking around I suppose for tens," Barrett told New Zealand's ONE Sport.

Since making his All Blacks debut in 2012, Barrett's gone on to play in 15 further Tests, and although helping the Hurricanes succeed is top priority, he admits that Crusaders number 10 Colin Slade is the one rival whose form has impressed him this season.

"Good to see Sladey's going well for the Crusaders, and I haven't been watching too many other people, I've just been focusing on my role," added Barrett.

Coles, like Barrett, also has the inside lane in the race to wear the All Blacks' number two jersey, especially with Andrew Hore now retired, and Keven Mealamu breaking down through injuries on several occasions over the past two seasons.

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