The Blues are on the verge of landing the biggest transfer prize in the history of our professional rugby if Beauden Barrett heads north.
The irony is that Hurricanes superstar Barrett – a two-time world player of the year – would make the dramatic move at a time when Super Rugby is at its lowest ebb.
Barrett's unconfirmed shift – as reported by NZME today – sums the situation up.
On one hand, he could transform the beleaguered Blues, who made barely any headway under their promising new coaching set-up this year. The positive vibes around Barrett coming to town would be enormous for an outfit which has had little great news for about 16 years.
A lot of the Blues' problems stem from having sub-standard No 10s. Barrett is an outhouse to penthouse deal for the Blues, and his presence could enable a proper succession plan in the position.
On the other hand, Barrett reportedly won't even front for the Blues next year, joining the great All Black locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock who will head overseas for a sabbatical. If he does sign on the dotted line, it is believed Barrett will join the Auckland-based side in 2021.
Super Rugby, with its complicated format and wild ride across many time zones, is deep in a credibility crisis primarily because it is used as a test match stepping stone and plaything.
Just this week, the Waratahs – who can still make the Super Rugby playoffs – revealed they would head for a make-or-break contest with the Highlanders in Invercargill minus five test veterans who must be rested under a Wallaby dictate.
The Barrett news is still stunning.
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Big name transfers rarely happen in this country, and Barrett would go from a team which has held title aspirations to one which continually underperforms. On the face of it, it is hardly a career enhancer.
But his shift would give an enormous confidence boost to the Blues region, and allow head coach Leon MacDonald and assistant Tom Coventry to believe they can unlock the region's massive potential.
There have been big swaps in the past. Blues legend Jonah Lomu's shift to the Hurricanes, via the Chiefs, would rival the Barrett move.
Sonny Bill Williams – who doesn't play much for the Blues - sure gets around. Way back, Ali Williams and Ron Cribb left the Blues for the Crusaders. There have been others.
But Barrett's potential to transform a franchise is unequalled, and the Barrett boys are competitors who play for keeps.
He should still have fire in the belly at the age of 29, fuelled by a desire to play at one last World Cup.
And he will be welcomed in Auckland with open arms.