Barrett eager to take chance in 12 jersey

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The injuries David Havili and Quinn Tupaea suffered within minutes of each other in Melbourne have provided him with that opportunity in the most important game of the season, with the Rugby Championship possibly on the line.

 

Barrett said playing second five-eighths for the All Blacks was a challenge he had been waiting for, for some time.

 

"I'm comfortable with playing 12, it just presents another challenge at this level. I got a bit of a taste last week. It's another Test, at Eden Park against an Aussie side that's hurting so I'm expecting a bit of traffic."

 

Centre Rieko Ioane had some empathy with Barrett having had to wait to play his preferred position of centre rather than wing. He described them as 'a couple of misfits' in midfield.

 

Training had gone well for both of them, and he said the fact Barrett was a good talker made Ioane's job a lot easier.

 

 

"Jordie's a good carrier, he's got a good pass-kick skill set which is good, it provides another threat to our backline, and just the skills from the back. Coming from fullback you need that vision. With David [Havili] and Quinn [Tupaea] having gone down, he slots in perfectly to suit our backline."

 

Ioane said he felt the defensive difference from wing to centre was what had taken him time to adjust. Being a wing, he knew what he wanted from a centre and vice versa. And, as an outside back, Jordie Barrett knew what his outsides would be looking for from a second five-eighths.

 

Ioane said midfield replacement and Blues teammate Roger Tuivasa-Sheck hadn't played a lot for the All Blacks this season, but he was learning as much as possible at training.

 

Playing for Auckland and time spent with the All Blacks' second five-eighths would only accelerate his adaption, and Ioane said he was excited about what he will bring when playing on Saturday.

 

Barrett said consistency was something the All Blacks chased all the time, and the truth was they hadn't been as proud as they might have been about their play in recent times.

 

They wanted to get better every week, and another big challenge lay ahead this week.

 

Ioane said: "Australia will be a better side than they were last week. I think both teams are looking to do that. We're expecting more of last week but at a high intensity.

 

"Being back at home, we want to lift and play the game that we should have ended on last week."

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