WELLINGTON – The Auckland Blues have said they will be without new signing Beauden Barrett for the first few months of the new Super Rugby season after the All Blacks flyhalf exercised a clause in his contract allowing him an extended break from the game.
Coach Leon MacDonald told reporters in Auckland on Friday that Barrett had attended some training sessions with his new team mates but was not expected "on the grass" until mid-April.
Barrett signed a four-year contract with the Blues in July, ending an eight-year association with the Wellington Hurricanes. The contract allowed him the extended break ahead of the 2020 season and also the option to pursue a short-term deal in Japan.
He could make his debut for the Blues in Week 11 of the competition, when they face the Hurricanes on April 11.
MacDonald said Barrett's late arrival was no cause for concern.