All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett is poised to return to rugby with his local club team before making his Blues debut next month.
The former Hurricanes star, who made a sensational switch to the Auckland-based Blues, has been on a sabbatical since the All Blacks’ unsuccessful World Cup campaign ended last November.
According to Newshub, Barrett will play his competitive game of rugby in over five months, when he runs out for Coastal Rugby Club against rivals Southern on 4 April.
The two-time World Rugby Player of the Year is also reportedly set to feature for the Blues – who recently ended the Stormers’ unbeaten run – against former side the Hurricanes a week later at Eden Park.
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The 28-year-old has not played for Coastal in 10 years, with club chairwoman Janet Fleming proud to have Barrett back to play for his home club.
‘We love the fact that Beauden loves coming home,’ revealed Fleming to Newshub. ‘The entire Barrett family have long been loyal supporters of Coastal and we always enjoy having them back.
‘We’re playing Southern, which is a big derby match for us, so it always draws a large crowd. Having Beauden play in it is likely to pack the ground out completely.’
The Blues recently returned to New Zealand after a successful tour of South Africa, where they picked up wins over both the Vodacom Bulls and the previously unbeaten Stormers.
Leon MacDonald’s team incidentally next travel to Wellington to take on the Hurricanes in what should be an entertaining Kiwi derby.
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