One of the Hurricanes’ best will be back in 2021, after Jordie Barrett confirmed his commitment to a fifth year in Wellington.
The Hurricanes announced on Wednesday their star fullback would be back in the yellow jersey in Super Rugby next season, the final year of his current deal with New Zealand Rugby.
Barrett’s contract enabled him to look elsewhere for his Super Rugby home in 2021 and, despite interest from at least one other New Zealand side, he stayed put.
“Players will have options in their contract, that’s the nature of the professional rugby world we are in. The club has a huge amount of respect for Jordie as a person and a player and we are delighted he’s chosen to stay in Wellington in 2021,” Hurricanes general manager of rugby Ben Castle said in a statement.
Barrett, 23, made his Hurricanes Super Rugby debut in 2017, having followed older brother Beauden to the capital. He played the first of his 17 All Blacks tests that year, against Samoa as a 20-year-old.
After Beauden Barrett’s departure to the Blues, Jordie stepped his game up a notch this year and, having missed their defeats to the Blues and Crusaders with a shoulder injury, played a huge part in their four-match winning streak as they prepare to host the Chiefs on Saturday night.
The 34-32 win over the Crusaders, in which Barrett hit a crucial sideline conversion, was his 57th match for the Hurricanes and boosted his points tally to 343.
Coach Jason Holland has consistently labelled Barrett the country’s best fullback, and said he was an integral part of the Hurricanes’ squad on and off the field.
“He’s one of the key leaders and drivers in our game at the moment. The added responsibility has definitely brought it out in him, the goalkicking, the kicking for touch, our attack,” Holland said recently.
“He’s awesome, he’s in great form and he’s confident. For Jordie when he’s got responsibility it helps him to be confident. He’s going well and long may it continue. He’s pretty focused on getting better every week which is great.”
Holland will unveil his side on Thursday to face the Chiefs with at least three changes from the Crusaders victory which preceded the bye.
Second five-eighth Ngani Laumape and prop Fraser Armstrong are out for at least two months after each suffered a broken arm, while wing Ben Lam has departed for a new contract with French club Bordeaux.
The Hurricanes sit third on the ladder and are only a tiny mathematical chance of winning the competition, depending heavily on other results going their way.
They will be pronounced favourites to make it five straight against the winless Chiefs at Sky Stadium, for which 15,000 tickets have been sold, the Hurricanes said.
This content was originally published here.