Beauden Barrett is the best back I've seen in rugby union ... bar one.

It feels like a privilege to be here, in what is shaping as a Golden Beaudie Era.

You can have Jonah Lomu, Dan Carter, David Campese, Mark Ella and the rest of them. Seriously. Barrett is pulling rabbits out of a hat every week.

Best back, at the moment, means best to watch, but it's almost the best ... as in THE best.


Some people talk trophies, I'm talking sheer ability, magic. Barrett is skipping into immortality and World Cups should not be allowed to re-define that.

He's already a better No 10 than Dan Carter, apart from kicking, which means the British and Irish Lions are in a lot of trouble.

Since I've been watching rugby, since the early 70s, the only player who is on Planet Beauden Barrett is Christian Cullen. He was truly amazing.

Nobody gets the adrenaline going like Barrett. He is capable of running riot whenever, right now. He is a one-man onslaught, a one-man rugby riot.

There was a lot of rubbish played in the Blues v Hurricanes encounter on Saturday night. It was a very enjoyable ding dong, but it was also a bit of a mess. Passes went all over the place.

One of the Blues lineout moves - the one Barrett latched on to for a try - looked like it was designed in a supermarket car park, while all the shoppers were still there.

It sucked.

The game needed Barrett to take over, because it needed a touch of class. He can spot opportunities that are perfectly made for his whirring feet from 20 metres away.

And while the opposition knows what's in store, they seem powerless to close the door.

People knew about Beauden Barrett before he arrived, for sure, but I don't think they knew he would be this good. Even the All Black coaches didn't seem to believe their eyes, using him as a super-sub, instead of letting him sink the opposition from the word go.

Not to denigrate Carter, but it shows that no matter how great a player is, there is always someone who might be even better out there.

The Lions are dead unlucky. They struck Carter in his considerable and absolute prime 12 years ago, and now strike something even more dangerous, although Barrett's Achilles heel is a few inches below his Achilles - his goalkicking boot.

Carter was the king of the goal kicks, restarts, composure, manipulating a game, of subtle moves that could create a lot, defence. He was also over-rated for many years, when rugby scholars loved to see things that weren't actually there.

He was also a bit of a hack, compared to what Barrett is doing, which isn't Carter's fault. It's just that Flying Beauden Barrett is off-the-charts good.

And Barrett is in that place where everything seems to work, a la bouncing rugby balls that leap into his arms.

New Zealand Rugby needs to get ready to break the bank to keep Barrett here, when the inevitable offshore bait arrives. They might also get snapping on shortening the seasons.

The longer Beauden Barrett stays in his prime, the better. We want B. Barrett running over the ground for as long as possible, not into it.