All Blacks star Barrett's move to Japan confirmed

By Sports Desk July 02, 2020

All Blacks star Beauden Barrett has signed with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath and will miss next year's Super Rugby season.

Barrett, 29, signed a four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the Blues in 2019, but will head to Japan in 2021 before returning for the international season.

The star playmaker will play under Kiwi coach Milton Haig, while England head coach Eddie Jones is a consultant for Suntory Sungoliath.

"For me it made sense to go next year and then have two years back with the Blues and hopefully the All Blacks in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup," Barrett said.

"My wife and I are excited to head to Japan next year. It is an appealing place for a young family and comparatively safe in health terms.

"The Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition has been an amazing experience. It's been brutal and demanding which is what you expect when New Zealand teams play each other.

"I'm loving every minute of it and having such big crowds turning out has been fantastic. I am loving the move to the Blues and we still have a job to do this season. It is an excellent environment with great coaching and an awesome bunch of dedicated players.

"While the excitement about heading to Japan will build closer to the time, I'll also be looking forward to being back later in 2021 and then into the 2022 Blues season."

All Blacks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock have had similar agreements to play in Japan this year.

Blues head coach Leon MacDonald said he was planning for next year without Barrett.

"Our focus is fully on the current campaign but we have plans for next year without Beaudy," he said.

"He will be a big loss but that is countered with what he is doing on and off the field this year, and that we get him for two more years.

"We have Otere Black playing terrific rugby, and Harry Plummer who has been coming off the bench, while we will have Stephen Perofeta back next season from injury."

Related items

  • Harlequins book top-eight spot with win over Gloucester Harlequins book top-eight spot with win over Gloucester

    Harlequins booked a top eight Premiership finish and a European Champions Cup spot with a 28-15 win over Gloucester.

    In front of a 1,000-strong crowd at Kinghsolm - just the second game Premiership fans have been allowed to watch since the resumption of action last month - the hosts started sluggishly. 

    Marcus Smith plundered three penalties in the opening 10 minutes before Cadan Murley raced away from Stephen Varney for Quins' first try.

    Gloucester were punished for a number of squandered chances when Stephan Lewies intercepted a pass on the halfway line and powered forward for the visitors' second try. 

    Gloucester improved after the break, reducing the deficit through Jake Polledri's try but Quins restored their advantage when Scott Steele pounced from close range. 

    Matias Alemanno went over on his Gloucester debut but it was too little, too late for Gloucester, who need two more points from their remaining two games to guarantee eighth place.

     

     

  • Saracens crush Exeter in Farrell's absence while battle for Premiership play-offs intensifies Saracens crush Exeter in Farrell's absence while battle for Premiership play-offs intensifies

    Saracens thumped title favourites Exeter Chiefs 40-17 in the final Premiership match between the teams for at least a season.

    With Saracens heading down to the Championship, punished for breaching salary-cap rules, they will hope to make a swift return and re-establish the rivalry with the Devonians.

    A five-try performance from the home side secured the points on this occasion, yet both sides were significantly under-strength, with their focus firmly on next week's European Champions Cup quarter-finals.

    Saracens, without suspended England captain Owen Farrell, turned up tries from Rotimi Segun, Dom Morris, Elliott Obatoyinbo, Jaco Venter and Cameron Boon.

    Facundo Cordero, Will Witty and Dave Dennis replied for Exeter, whose six-match winning run since the league re-started came to an end.

    Next Saturday sees holders Saracens go to Pro14 winners Leinster in the Champions Cup, followed a day later by Exeter's home test against Northampton Saints.

    The race to join Exeter in the four-team play-offs intensified as the day ended with the sides in second to fifth position separated by just two points.

    Sale Sharks fell from second to fourth place after losing 37-22 at home to Bath, for whom Rhys Priestland booted 17 points.

    Bath's tries came from Ruaridh McConnochie, Jonathan Joseph and Ben Spencer, who crossed twice, as they nudged up to third in the table.

    Wasps now sit second, after they picked apart Bristol 59-35, knocking the Bears down to fifth spot.

    They had eight try-scorers in the bonus-point success, with Jack Willis, Josh Bassett, Tom Cruse, Will Rowlands, Zach Kibirige, Dan Robson, Tom Willis and Gabriel Oghre all going over, as well as a penalty try.

    Lowly Leicester Tigers secured a 28-24 win over Northampton Saints, with Ben Youngs marking his 250th appearance for the club by bagging a fifth-minute try.

    Worcester Warriors enjoyed a 40-25 win at Twickenham Stoop against fellow strugglers London Irish, with Francois Hougaard and Ollie Lawrence both scoring a pair of tries.

  • Rennie picks 16 uncapped players in Australia squad Rennie picks 16 uncapped players in Australia squad

    Dave Rennie has named 16 uncapped players in an extended 44-man squad for Australia's Test season.

    Australia will play two Tests away to New Zealand in October before hosting The Rugby Championship from November.

    Rennie, who took over from Michael Cheika as head coach last November after a quarter-final elimination at the Rugby World Cup, selected a youthful squad.

    Of the 16 uncapped names, eight have only made their Super Rugby debuts this season, while 13 of the other players included have under 10 international caps.

    No captain was named but incumbent Michael Hooper is among the more experienced players picked in the group.

    Rugby Australia had permitted two overseas players to be named in the squad but ultimately none were selected, though Tolu Latu may still be called up depending on the severity of an injury to Jordan Uelese.

    Injuries for Matt Toomua, Jordan Petaia and Dane Haylett-Petty will also be monitored.

    "This is a really exciting day for us," said Rennie.

    "We've picked this squad on form and on potential and I know the whole group are chomping at the bit to get stuck in and push their case for a Wallaby jersey.

    "There's a big game [the Super Rugby Au final] to come on Saturday night down in Canberra but personally, I'm really looking forward to getting out on the grass in a week's time to start putting in the work together.

    "When we picked the squad, we had to consider how we will handle the rigours of the Test calendar ahead.

    "It is obviously a big squad which is due to COVID restrictions as we can't bring players in and out but each of one them is there on merit."

    The Brumbies were the best represented team with 13 selections.
     

    Australia squad: Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa'amausili, Folau Fainga'a, Jake Gordon, Ned Hanigan, Will Harrison, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Tom Horton, Trevor Hosea, Len Ikitau, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Marika Korobiete, Noah Lolesio, Jack Maddocks, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, James O'Connor, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Joe Powell, James Ramm, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Irae Simone, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Lachie Swinton, Matt To'omua, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright, Tom Wright.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.