There are many things that will put Beauden Barrett off swapping the Hurricanes for the Blues, not least stepping from a comfortable and familiar environment into an unknown one, and the Auckland-based team's appalling level of under-achievement since 2011.

That was when the Blues last featured in the Super Rugby playoffs, a run which finished at the semifinal stage when beaten by eventual champions the Reds in Brisbane. A year later and head coach Pat Lam was sacked.

Since then John Kirwan has come and gone. Tana Umaga came, did his best for three seasons, and was demoted for