Just in case there were any doubts, Jordie Barrett has sent a clear message to All Blacks selectors about his preferred position in the national team.
Select me at fullback.
The youngest of the All Black Barrett brothers scored all his team's points, as the Hurricanes overwhelmed the Highlanders 30-19 for their first Super Rugby Aotearoa win of the season in Dunedin.
Over the 80 minutes, he stamped his class on proceedings with three tries, converting them all and adding three penalties - two from halfway.
"Things went my way tonight," he reflected afterwards. "But overall, I'm just stoked we got off the duck egg and got a good performance against the Highlanders.
Asked about the last time he scored three tries in a march, Barrett suggested he might have achieved it in U8 grade.
"It's nice to get a couple, but I'm just happy to contribute to wins and stoked we got over the line tonight."
With injuries decimating the Hurricanes' supply of first-fives, coach Jason Holland has refrained from shifting Barrett to a position he has filled once at international level - against Namibia at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Instead, Orbyn Ledger has filled the No.10 jersey for the last two outings, with Barrett sometimes stepping into first receiver to ease the load.
"Jordie is a world class 15 and is not a world class 10," insisted Holland. "We got Orby doing an awesome job for us at 10 at the moment, Jordie can do what he does.
"They run the game together, and they interchange a little bit at 10 and 15, but for me, it was a bit of a no brainer to leave Jordie at 15."
And Barrett has appreciated that opportunity to refine his craft.
"In a way, I try to take a little bit of that responsibility off 'Orbs', just so he can concentrate on his own game," he said. "I try to deliver and pitch in on team messages, so he can go out there with a clear head.
"As soon as [Jackson Garden-Bachop] found out his Achilles was no good, [Holland] didn't panic and told me he would keep me at 15, allow me to continue to try and grow at 15, and trust other guys to do the job. That's quite refreshing."
The All Blacks hierarchy opted to play Barrett on the wing last year, but if they are to heed his claims on the fullback spot, they face a dilemma over how best to use two-time World Rugby Player of the Year - and older brother - Beauden, currently playing in Japan.
"I'm not keeping any secrets about where I want to play," says Jordie. "I want to play 15 and I enjoy playing 15 for the Hurricanes.
"Hopefully, we can keep building on this performance - it's just a start for us."
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