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The search for Beauden Barrett’s replacement at the Hurricanes is already underway.
The All Blacks first-five confirmed on Friday he would be re-signing with New Zealand Rugby until 2023, but would turn his back on the Hurricanes after 125 matches for the franchise, instead opting to play his Super Rugby for the Blues.
The disappointment in Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee’s voice was palpable when talking about losing his star first-five.
He said he did everything he could to retain Beauden Barrett, but ultimately one of the world’s best No 10s joined the Blues for “non-rugby” reasons.
* Super Rugby: All Blacks star Beauden Barrett signs four-year deal with the Blues
* Super Rugby: Have Beauden and Jordie Barrett played their last games for the Hurricanes?
“He was definitely going to Auckland. He’d been pretty clear with us on that one. We tried to be really flexible. We talked about four years, we talked about two years, we talked about one year. We tried to give his agent a lot of that information and at the end of the day I think he’s made a decision for what I call ‘non-rugby reasons’.
“That’s fine. Beauden has got to do that for himself and we’ve got to make decisions that are in the best interests of the Hurricanes. That’s my job and that’s where we ended up.”
Lee confirmed they talked about commuting options, a la Dan Carter with the Crusaders, but it didn’t work out.
By non-rugby, Lee meant more than just moving to Auckland to be closer to wife Hannah’s family as they look to start a family of their own.
“I don’t want to
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