Beauden Barrett: All Blacks star ‘just about ready to go’ ahead of Argentina rematch

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Beauden Barrett Credit: PA Images
Beauden Barrett Credit: PA Images

All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett has revealed he should be fit to return for their Rugby Championship meeting with Argentina on Saturday.

The Round Four game in Hamilton sees New Zealand looking to bounce back from a home loss to the Pumas, which came in Christchurch last weekend.

Barrett was absent for that fixture but says he is “just about ready to go” as the struggling All Blacks hope to get their stalling title challenge back on track.

Could return this weekend

“I’m feeling really good, sun is on the back, beautiful Hamilton day, and it’s good to get a full training under my belt, too,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I’ve realised that I’ve got to get a neck like a front-rower to be able to handle these knocks so I’ve been working hard on it in the gym with Pete [All Blacks physio Pete Gallagher].

“A few more shoulder-on tackles, and I’d say I’m just about ready to go.”

Last weekend’s Pumas win was the first time that Argentina had defeated the All Blacks on New Zealand soil, which has piled more pressure on the hosts.

When asked about the mood in camp, Barrett revealed that they’re focussing on improving as a must-win game at FMG Stadium in Waikato approaches.

“As we feel after every review, a little bit frustrated, but we leave feeling clear on what needs to be worked on, and how we are going to get better as players,” he stressed ahead of the Rugby Championship clash.

“So there’s been some good tension around camp, but plenty of determination, and things to look forward to working on.”

The fly-half added: “We’ve got to get that balance right, having fun and plenty of stimulation and things like that. We know what the performance triangle looks like, when it’s time to work we’ve got to be ready to go, and when it’s time to switch off, it’s so important, especially at the moment to do that.”

Regarding their struggles to break down opposition defences, the former World Rugby Player of the Year admitted it was a frustrating time for the team.

Keep the All Blacks’ style

“It’s what other teams do really well, particularly South Africa, play a low-risk gameplan and then put the ball up in the air and look to feed off those sort of errors,” he said.

“We don’t want to be like other teams.

“We’ve still got to be the expressive All Blacks that we know we can be.

“When the pressure comes on, we want to run the ball, keep it in hand, it’s just what feels so natural to us.

“We’ve identified that in games that we’ve lost, we may need to kick the ball a little bit more, it seems unnatural, but it’s just being aware of that. And looking to attack in different ways – everyone on our feet, chasing kicks, getting those 50-50 bounces or flooding rucks and looking for turnovers that way.

“We are figuring out the way that we want to play.”

READ MORE: Sam Cane: All Blacks skipper not concerned by being substituted in Argentina loss

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