'They can see the standards he's set' – Blues' first-fives ready for Barrett arrival

As the Blues prepare for the arrival of All Blacks star Beauden Barrett, the current stock of first-fives are readying themselves for the chance to play alongside the world's best.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Game time will be hard to come by for the Blues' playmakers this year. Source: 1 NEWS

With Barrett, 28, having swapped from the Hurricanes in the off-season, the Blues' other four first-fives will have a challenge on their hands to even play second fiddle - none bringing the same star power as the All Blacks star.

At present, Barrett won't be back in Super Rugby until April as part of an extended break after a hectic 2019, leaving the quartet of Otere Black, Stephen Perofeta, Harry Plummer and newbie Jack Heighton all out to cement themselves as regular starters.

Speaking to media today, assistant coach Tana Umaga says that the Blues first-five stocks are embracing learning from the world's best.

"They're responding great," Umaga says.

"They realise they've got one of the best in the world coming here, and they can already see the standards he's set."

Umaga is also eager to emphasise that Barrett won't have things all go his way in terms of selection when he makes his Blues debut later this year.

"They want to make sure they're getting the game time before he gets here, but also it's not just a walk-in ride for him, that he's going to be number one.

"They want to make sure that he's got to work for it, fight for everything he's got.

"There's a lot of rugby to be played before Beauden gets here. We've got to make sure that those guys are showing the best of themselves [and] are running the team as best they can."

The Blues kick Super Rugby off when they take on the Chiefs at Eden Park next Friday night.