Super Rugby 2020: Beauden Barrett chomping at bit for delayed Blues debut

His long-awaited, much-heralded Blues debut may be on hold, but All Blacks star Beauden Barrett is chomping at the bit to take the field in his new colours.

The two-time World Rugby Player of the Year was due to make his first appearance for the Auckland-based franchise against his old Hurricanes outfit - including younger brother Jordie - on Eden Park this Saturday.

But with Super Rugby shut down during the coronavirus crisis, Barrett has posted social media video of his latest lockdown training session, as he perfects his kicking game at the Blues' Alexandra Park headquarters.

Unlike his Crusaders counterparts, there's no suggestion he left his bubble to share the workout with teammates.

"Great session designed by @alreddave taking the reverse repair phase to match-like situations," Barrett posted on Instagram. "Always challenging - always in the ugly zone - but always make progress! ⁣"⁣

Dr Dave Alred is an elite performance coach, who wrote The Pressure Principle and has worked with top British athletes, including rugby stars Jonny Wilkinson, Johnny Sexton and George Ford, and golfer Padraig Harrington. 

The workout met with approval from a range of interantional sports stars, including former English cricket Kevin Pietersen, former Wallabies counterpart Quade Cooper, and former and current All Blacks teammates Jerome Kaino and Damian McKenzie.

Barrett missed the start of the Blues' 2020 Super Rugby campaign, while on a sabbatical from rugby that began after the All Blacks' World Cup bronze-medal victory over Wales last November.

He cut his break short, cancelling trips to the US Masters golf tournament and Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix, to return to training early. Both those events were eventually called off, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

With no play possible under lockdown, NZ Rugby is facing drastic cuts to preserve the game's future and Barrett is resigned to have his salary reduced.

"As an employee of NZ Rugby, we're all facing some tough times and we're all in this together," he told NZME. "We've seen some of our colleagues and friends have had to take a few cuts already.

"As players, we're working through that with Rob Nichol and the Players' Association. That will come out in due course, but yes we will be [taking cuts] at some stage."

Once the lockdown ends, NZ Rugby will likely investigate a revamped domestic competition among the five local franchises to fill the void until international travel becomes viable.