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Barrett’s a Blue

Beauden Barrett has confirmed he has signed a new contract with New Zealand Rugby, but he won’t be at the Hurricanes next season

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Beauden Barrett has confirmed that he has signed a new four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby that will see him stay in the country until 2023.

The deal also secures a switch from the Hurricanes to the Blues, with the deal tying Barrett down until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The 73-cap All Black is delighted to have finally been able to announce his decision following months of speculation.

“This is obviously a massive decision for me and my wife Hannah and we’re really looking forward to the next chapter of our lives. The Hurricanes will always be a huge part of who I am. The Hurricanes environment and style of rugby they play has helped me become the player I am today, and I’ll be leaving some very good mates,” he said.

Having turned out for the Hurricanes 125 times since 2011 the club has become a huge part of his life however, he is excited about the prospect of moving on.

“Wellington has been my rugby base for many years and university base for Hannah and we’ll always have fond memories of living there. Home for us now is Taranaki and Auckland and home and family are immensely important to both of us. I’m also enthusiastic about the new challenge I’ll get with the Blues over the next four years. They’re a team on the rise, I like the way they play and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that. While I’m looking forward to what the future holds, right now my focus is on the international season ahead with the All Blacks,” he added.

The 28-year-old has won two World Rugby Player of the Year awards in his career so far and NZR CEO Steve Tew noted this while talking about his joy at having Barrett stay in New Zealand.

“We are absolutely delighted that Beauden has committed to four more years with New Zealand Rugby. He joins a strong core of experienced Test players who are now with us leading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup. There is no doubting how important he is to the All Blacks and every team he plays for. As well as his on-field achievements, including back-to-back World Rugby Player of the Year awards in 2016-2017, he has also amassed numerous records, including being fourth on the All Blacks Test points-scoring list. He is now a genuine leader in any team he plays and a strong contributor to our off-field responsibilities. We all look forward to seeing him back in black for the international season and also wish him all the best with his move to the Blues next year,” he said.

The contract Barrett has signed allows him extra time off following the World Cup meaning he won’t join his new side until half-way through the 2020 season. It also includes a clause that states Barrett can take time at any point over the course of the four years to play rugby in Japan as long as it’s agreed among all parties.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen believes that knowing Barrett is on board for another four-years is a massive boost for the All Blacks squad.

“It’s fantastic news for the All Blacks and obviously for the Blues as well and we congratulate Beaudy and his wife Hannah on his decision to stay in New Zealand. He’s one of the best players in the world, a leader in our team and has been involved in numerous successful campaigns, from Rugby World Cups to Bledisloe Cups, and I believe he’s going to get even better. Knowing he will be here through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup is massive for the All Blacks as they move into a new phase post-2019,” he said.

Barrett’s commitment to his country and the Super Rugby is a real boost for fans too, who have seen a number of high-profile names turn to the Japanese Top League for financial reasons. Barrett will be hoping to celebrate his new contract with a good showing in the Rugby Championship before attempting to add a third World Cup in a row to the All Blacks cabinet.

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Steyn’s Rugby Career Could be Over

Double World Cup winner Frans Steyn could be set to call time on his career early following his latest triumph

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(Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Springboks great Frans Steyn looks likely to at least pull the curtain down on his European career in order to return to his homeland.

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner, who managed to pick up medals from the 2007 edition of the tournament and this year’s one, beating England in both finals, is currently contracted to French Top 14 giants Montpellier. 

However, it is believed that he has held discussions with the club about ending his contract come the end of January instead of when it is supposed to expire in July and speaking to South African news-outlet Volksblad, he seems keen on settling down in his homeland. 

“Rugby has always been an inspiration for the Afrikaners, especially for farmers. If we had a bad week, if we watch good rugby on Saturday, then everything is better again. Only good rain, a good rugby weekend gives us the power to face Mondays again. It is a privilege that many farmers do not have. We know what to do in the future and what we need to have in place. We want to raise our children here and are attached to the rural feel that Bloemfontein offers. We want our children to have a good experience here as my wife and I had when one grew up here,” he said. 

The 32-year-old has a family farm in Bloemfontein and it is understood this is not the first time he has made the suggestion to return to the area, but it now looks more likely than ever that he will get what he likes. 

Steyn is expected to return to the French club next week, where he would play until January before his possible move back to South Africa. 

At this time it is unknown whether the back would continue his rugby career with local professional side the Cheetahs, who play in the PRO14, or whether he will end his career early, having played at the top level for such a long time already.

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Scots End Row with World Rugby

Scotland and World Rugby have been unhappy with one another for the guts of a month, but they have finally sorted their differences out

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(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

World Rugby have confirmed this morning that the Scottish Rugby Union has accepted the punishment received for comments made during the Rugby World Cup in Japan last month.

The punishment of a £70,000 fine and a meaningful apology was handed to the union following comments made by their chief Mark Dodson, who suggested sueing World Rugby as his team’s clash with Japan came under threat by Typhoon Hagibis. 

In what was a must-win game for the Scots to progress to the knock-out stages, he also criticised the running of the competition by the hosts. Eventually the match was played and Scotland lost 28-21, leaving them heading home, but World Rugby were not happy. 

Having announced the punishment last week, World Rugby have now released a statement to confirm that Scotland have accepted the decision. 

“World Rugby can confirm that the Scottish Rugby Union has expressed its regret and has confirmed it will not challenge World Rugby further on this matter. The Scottish Rugby Union has agreed to pay a donation of £70,000 to World Rugby and the matter is now closed. There will be no further comment from either party,” the statement read. 

It puts and end to a dragged out argument between the organisations which will be a relief to fans. The fine will be donated to the Childfund Pass it Back programme, which is continuing to help the areas affected by the typhoon last month. 

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Best to Captain Barbarians at Twickenham

The Barbarians have announced their squad for their clash with Fiji on November 16th and Ireland legend Rory Best will captain the invitational side on his final professional appearance

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Barbarians have confirmed their 23-man squad for their match against Fiji on Saturday November 16th at Twickenham, with Rory Best set to captain the side.

The invitational side take on Fiji in the Killik Cup as England head coach takes charge of the team and Irish rugby legend Best will captain the team from hooker in what will be his final professional appearance, having finished his international career with Ireland during the Rugby World Cup

Best is joined by Springbok ace and fellow legend in rugby Tendai Mtawarira in the front-row as the pair are joined by Enrique Pieretto. 

As well as Mtawarira, fellow World Cup winner Makazole Mapimpi starts on the wing, while Boks’ centre Lukhanyo Am is on the bench along with former Springbok Morne Steyn, who joins up in a Barbarians squad with Mtawarira once again, having lined-out together back in 2009 during a 25-19 win over the All Blacks.

Elsewhere, the side contains big names such as Mathieu Bastareaud, who links up with Andre Esterhuizen in the midfield. 

It is the first of three fixtures for the Baa Baas as they follow their game with Fiji, with clashes against Brazil in Sao Paolo and Wales at the Principality Stadium to conclude their November tour for 2019. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

15. David Havili

14. Dillyn Leyds

13. Mathieu Bastareaud

12. Andre Esterhuizen

11. Makazole Mapimpi

10. Curwin Bosch

9. Joe Powell

1. Tendai Mtawariria

2. Rory Best ©

3. Enrique Pieretto

4. Luke Jones

5. Tyler Ardron

6. Pete Samu

7. Marco Van Staden 

8. Josh Strauss

Replacements:

Andrew Makalio, Campese Maafu, Hencus Van Wyk, Angus Cottrell, Matt Philip, Jano Vermaak, Lukhanyo Am, Morne Steyn

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