ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Thursday Jul 23, 2020

England's Ford-Farrell example could be a lesson for the Barrett position debate

Ask anyone in New Zealand what position they think Beauden Barrett should play and you will surely get a mix of replies. Whether it’s fly-half or full-back, it’s something that divides opinion.

ADVERTISEMENT

Former Springbok Butch James knows this all too well. The 42-time capped out-half admitted he found the decision to play Barrett at 15 at both Super Rugby and international level “very strange”.

Barrett is eyeing a return to his customary position of fly-half for the Blues following an injury to incumbent Otere Black.

Speaking as part of the Use it or Lose it show, hosted by fellow ex-team-mates Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers, James feels like the All Blacks should be allowing their “best player” to get his hands on the ball as often as possible.

“I know Richie Mo’unga has also been brilliant and been playing good rugby but you would want your test player, not to be playing fly-half but to be getting his hands on the ball as much as he can,” James said.

“For me, at full-back, he probably gets some good opportunities to counter-attack but he’ll never get as many opportunities as he would as a fly-half.”

The competition for the 10 jersey in New Zealand is perhaps at its highest now with Barrett and Mo’unga both playing at a world class class. It’s not the first time the All Blacks have had a conundrum in this position either, having had to find a way to fit in the likes of Luke McAlister and Dan Carter moving between fly-half and centre.

ADVERTISEMENT

Currently, the All Blacks situation is a little more complex due to the fact that Barrett and Mo’unga are both exceptional out-halves, leading to the almost necessary inclusion of each in the match day 23. Damian McKenzie is another who can possibly sympathise with Barrett, having alternated between 15 and 10 in his career so far.

THE ENGLAND DEBATE

If there is one key comparison, it’s with England’s choice to play Owen Farrell and George Ford in the same starting line-up, with one at fly-half (generally Ford) and the other (Farrell) at inside centre. As Burger says, when things go your way, the problems of players not accustomed to playing in their preferred position are not as clearly demonstrated as when they’re under pressure.

James concurred: “I think England is the prime example, they missed a little beat there with playing Farrell at 12, I would have moved him into 10,” said James.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Especially against us [South Africa], move him into 10, [Manu] Tuilagi at 12 and [Henry] Slade at 13. I think that’s their best 10, 12, 13 combination.”

It’s a debate which will undoubtedly carry out in New Zealand, but there may be some inspiration from the good and bad of England’s own situation.

Related Articles

  • 92 WEEKS AGO

    'You're going to get backlash either way'...

  • 97 WEEKS AGO

    Prospect of new Pacific Islander franchise...

  • 105 WEEKS AGO

    Jim Hamilton chats to rugby's biggest YouTuber...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Blues score two STUNNING tries against Queensland Reds

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Racing 92 know how play ‘GORGEOUS’ rugby

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Teddy Thomas rinses defence with BLISTERING pace

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Every Ulster try scored in Europe this season..and it’s glorious!

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Fijian Drua show RIDICULOUS skillset and can score from anywhere

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Fans outraged after shocking Owen Farrell moment

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Big Rugby Collision In South African Schools Match

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Sickening Shot Leaves Motionless

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Hardest hit of all time

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Duhan Van der Merwe makes INCREDIBLE try saving tackle

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Hooker scores masterful try

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Tadhg Furlong produces one of the best ever passes by a forward

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Hardest hit of all time

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Leicester Tigers respond to hilarious fan incident

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Thrilling clash between Munster and Toulouse settled by a place kick shootout

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Watch: The Internet Remains Undefeated In Champions Cup Build-Up

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: First It Was BoJo Now It's ScoMo

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Dad and 7 sons in Ireland forward pack

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Shocking mistake by Brumbies fullback prevents a certain try

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Ellis Genge hits back at Brian Moore

View All

Amateur

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Watch: Epic Speech Epitomises Rugby Values

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Epic touchline conversion from Tighthead seals the deal

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Veteran props compared to Tadhg Furlong in new viral video

  • 82 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 119 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Israel Folau named back in international rugby today!

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    James Haskell sends twitter into another meltdown

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Harlequins full-back to leave at the end of the season

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Fans shocked after some huge recalls in the England squad

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Huge opportunity for young prodigy

View All