Covid-19 lockdown delays Beauden Barrett’s Blues debut

Date published: April 2 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has forced most of the world into lockdown and could not have come at a worse time for Blues fly-half Beauden Barrett.

The All Black stalwart had an extended break after the Rugby World Cup last year and was slowly getting back into training with the Auckland-based franchise.

Barrett’s much-anticipated debut for the Blues against his former Super Rugby club, the Hurricanes, was all set for next weekend (in a perfect world).

The 28-year-old told former All Blacks team-mate Israel Dagg on Sky Sport’s Super Rugby Isolation Nation programmne he was set to return to the footy field this weekend in Taranaki.

“I was supposed to be playing a game of club rugby for Coastal and then it would have been against the Hurricanes the following week if everything went well,” explained Barrett.

“That was certainly the goal to return to play for that game, but we will have to wait and see, hopefully sometime soon.”

It’s been a long wait for the 83-Test All Black, who hasn’t played rugby since the Rugby World Cup bronze medal match against Wales in early November.

Barrett’s been keeping himself busy while in lockdown at home in Auckland, and the carpet’s been getting a workout with his golf practice.

He said the first week in lockdown has gone really well.

“I’ve always been a big planner and a big attention to detail guy. I like to plan out my week, especially with what I’m doing each day,” added Barrett.

“I just try and keep a fair amount of normality to this isolation period which is important. Hannah [wife] had a huge list of jobs that Jack, my brother and law and I have been smashing through. We have updated the list and Hannah has a lot of work to do.”

Staying connected with the Blues has been important during the last couple of weeks, and like most other sporting teams and businesses around the world, video calls has been key to the communication.

“We have various chats going and we are on Zoom, so we catch up three times a week to check in, just to stay connected,” said Barrett.

“We have been given programmes and are talking to strength and conditioning coaches. It’s amazing how much you can do with modern technology.”