Ben Smith | All Blacks’ treble quest hinges on solving playmaker puzzle

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Wellington – TheAll Blacksare confident they can win an unprecedented third straightRugby World Cupin Japan, even if they have to shift one of the team’s star players from his favoured position to do it.

No one in the current New Zealand squad can match the individual accolades heaped upon Beauden Barrett, a two-time World Rugby player of the year.

Barrett, 28, earned his awards for excelling at fly-half, coordinating the All Blacks in attack and splitting opposition defences with his deft kicking.

His prowess in the number 10 jersey was the reason the Auckland Blues broke the bank to lure him away from Wellington Hurricanes for the 2020 Super Rugby season.

However, the All Blacks believe the key to winning their third consecutive World Cup, and fourth overall, is moving Barrett to full-back and handing fly-half duties to Richie Mo’unga, long seen as his understudy.

The genesis of the decision lies in the British and Irish Lions tour of 2017, when the visitors employ

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