• All Blacks, Crusaders lock in Barrett

    New Zealand Rugby has been boosted by the news that Crusaders captain Scott Barrett has signed a new deal through to 2023.

    The 26-year-old lock on Tuesday confirmed that he would stay with the Crusaders for the next four seasons, which will take him through to the 2023 World Cup in France.

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    Barrett said a major motivating factor behind turning down overseas moves was the disappointment of last year’s semi-final loss to England. Barrett started that match at flank, but was replaced by Sam Cane at half time.

    ‘I still feel, you know, that hurt from losing that [the World Cup] last year,’ Barrett said. ‘It is a big driver to stick around and work towards.

    ‘So, I have given myself a target to aim towards. Hopefully I can put last year’s disappointment into a potential World Cup win.’

    The news will be a major boost for the All Blacks, who will also have veteran Sam Whitelock and enforcer Brodie Retallick back for the next World Cup.

    Whitelock will play the Crusaders in New Zealand’s domestic Vodacom Super Rugby Aotearoa – set to kick off in June – after negotiating a release from his Japanese club.

    Retallick is unavailable for the All Blacks until late in 2021, having signed a contract allowing him a two-year playing sabbatical in Japan.

    Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images