Beauden Barrett 'a liability' at fullback that should be benched in dual playmaker system, says UK writer

Source: 1News

Beauden Barrett is at risk of losing out on his spot as a starting All Black in favour of Richie Mo'unga and Damian McKenzie, according to English writer Stuart Barnes.

In 2019 the All Blacks utilised a "dual playmaker"  system in the hope of getting their best players on the field at the same time, with Barrett the most affected, shifting to fullback instead of his preferred position of first-five.

While the change did come off in patches, namely in the All Blacks' pool victory over eventual World Cup winners South Africa, the semi-final defeat to England showed that the system has its flaws.

New All Blacks coach Ian Foster though, earlier this month stated his intention to continue using the dual playmaker strategy.

Barrett's sheer athleticism and versatility in this case appear to be hurting his chances of holding onto his All Blacks' spot, with Richie Mo'unga emerging as New Zealand's in-form option at first-five.

Writing for the Sunday Times, former first-five turned commentator Barnes thought Barrett would be benched in the system, with Damian McKenzie now a "clear pick" at fullback.

"New Zealand rugby is in danger of turning one of the most original talents in the history of the sport into a liability,'' said Barnes.

"It's a black day for rugby when New Zealand, of all countries, threatens to squander such a monumental talent''.

Barnes also hit out at Barrett being deployed at fullback for the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa, adding that he was "an old-fashioned fullback that catches and kicks."

However, despite the criticism towards Barrett's abilities as a fullback, the two-time World Rugby player of the year might have to settle in to the 15 jersey with the Blues, as Otere Black's impressive form in 2020 means he's unlikely to relinquish that spot.