All the action as Taranaki take on Bay of Plenty in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Taranaki will open their Mitre 10 Cup campaign on Sunday afternoon with two world-class players commanding the backline.

Beauden and Jordie Barrett have been named to start at first-five and fullback respectively for the Bulls' opener against Bay of Plenty in Inglewood.

While Beauden will don the amber and black jersey for the first time since 2015, Jordie is yet to make his debut for the franchise, despite hailing from the region having grown up on a farm with his two All Black brothers in Pungarehu.


Jordie spent his first season of provincial rugby with Canterbury in 2016, and while signing with Taranaki for 2017, has not featured due to international duties.

Taranaki coach Willie Rickards is excited to include the two in his side.

"It's not every day or every match you can name two Barretts in your run-on side and we know how much quality they will bring. Their presence, along with a number of guys who have come in, has given the entire squad a real boost at a really exciting time for all of us.

The Bulls' preseason was less than impressive, copping losses at the hands of Manawatu and Waikato – two of their closest rivals.

"While the pre-season games have not resulted in wins, our coaching group are more than satisfied with the work everyone is putting in to start the season well against a tough looking Steamers side who will be equally as determined as we are to start the season well," Rickards says.

All going well, middle brother Scott could also pull on the Taranaki jersey when he recovers from a foot injury. He earlier revealed plans to return to the field next month.

Beauden and Jordie will be in somewhat unknown territory down in the Championship, having played their entire provincial careers in the Premiership. The Bulls were relegated from the first division in 2018.

Bay of Plenty on the other hand will be brimming with confidence after promotion into the Premiership for 2020. The Steamers previously spent six years in the bottom group.


The Bulls will also have the in-form and recently named All Black Tupou Vaa'i starting at lock. The front row has plenty of experience with Ricky Riccitelli and Ben May starting, Mitchell Brown and Lachlan Boshier from part of the loose forward contingent and Teihorangi Walden and Sean Wainui pair up in the midfield.