For weeks there had been speculation All Blacks and Hurricanes star Beauden Barrett was poised to defect from the Hurricanes

But there appears to be one huge clue everyone missed - just a day before he announced his decision to move to the Blues.

On Thursday the All Blacks were in camp preparing for their Rugby Championship opener against Argentina, including the likes of Hurricanes star TJ Perenara and Blues hardman
Karl Tu'inukuafe.

But yesterday the Hurricanes dropped a huge clue, which appeared to be missed by the majority of fans around the country.

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Taking to Twitter, the Canes posted images of their All Blacks hard at work, but there was one massive omission from the squad - Beauden Barrett.

And less than 24 hours after the All Blacks' training, Barrett was officially a Blues player.

In a new four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby, Barrett will don the Blues jersey from mid-2020.

Barrett will stay with the All Blacks and NZR until the 2023 World Cup - and move from the Hurricanes to the Blues to play Super Rugby from 2020.

But there appears to be one big clue everyone missed just a day before he announced his decision to move to the Blues. Photo / Getty
But there appears to be one big clue everyone missed just a day before he announced his decision to move to the Blues. Photo / Getty

Barrett told media he explored overseas offers but said he "knew I wasn't ready" to leave New Zealand.

"At the start of the year, I had a look around. I would be silly not to see what's out there. I just knew deep down I wasn't ready to go, and that I had a lot more to offer, so I soon shut down that option," Barrett said.

"I see a lot of potential [at the Blues]. They've had some close losses ... and if you can find a way to turn that around ... I believe they know how to do that.

"I've been around for a while now and I want to share my experience with them. I know how to influence the players around me. I've spoken to Leon [MacDonald, Blues coach] about where he wants this team to go."

As part of his new contract, he will take an extended break away from the game at the end of this year and start with the Blues midway through next year's Super season. He also has an option to take a short playing break in Japan sometime over the next four years, with any break to be negotiated with NZR and the Blues.