Otago unlikely to face Barretts

Jordie Barrett.
Jordie Barrett.
Whether Otago will face a pair of Barretts in Sunday’s Ranfurly Shield challenge remains unconfirmed.

But it seems unlikely.

Brothers Beauden and Jordie Barrett both joined the 35-man All Black squad which met for a three-day camp in Whakatane today.

Both were vital in Taranaki’s 23-22 upset of Canterbury to claim the Ranfurly Shield on Saturday.

It was a result that leaves Otago with a shot at the Log o’ Wood in Inglewood this weekend.

The task may be made a little easier too.

The entire All Black squad was available for the players’ Mitre 10 Cup sides over the first two rounds.

Now it will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Otago head coach Tom Donnelly was unsure whether the All Blacks would be available when asked after Sunday’s win over Manawatu.

However, if there was to be limited availability, the Barretts would have to be at the top of the list to not play.

Beauden is a two-time world player of the year, while Jordie has taken his game to another level this year after making 17 appearances for the national side since 2017.

Lock Tupou Vaa’i completes Taranaki’s All Black trio and may be more likely to be released for game time.

Otago will not be impacted either way as the side is without players in the 35-man squad.

Josh Ioane and Liam Coltman both bring All Black experience to the team though.

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