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Latest rugby stars to sign on for Black Clash

Barrett brothers, Smith latest rugby stars to sign on for Black Clash

Representative opening bowler Jordie Barrett, his global rugby superstar brother Beauden and halfback Aaron Smith are the latest huge names to commit to Team Rugby for the Hot Spring Spas T20 Christchurch Black Clash.

Having played Hawke Cup for Taranaki while still a schoolboy and been on standby for the New Zealand U19 World Cup team, fast bowler Jordie has the strongest cricketing pedigree of the three.

The former Central Districts U19 captain had been earmarked for a professional cricket career before rugby intervened with a call up to the All Blacks at the age of just 20.

Having served as CD’s 12th man at the age of just 18, Barrett in fact could hardly have gone closer to playing first class cricket.

More noted for his outstanding golf game outside of rugby, Beauden Barrett describes himself as a left hand batsman and “specialist fielder”.

“Rugby does tend to get in the way of cricket but I’m always keen for a hit in the summer when I get the chance,” he said.

“The match is a really great concept and I can’t wait to be a part of it. It’ll be pretty cool to play alongside a bunch of my rugby mates in another sport. I know some of them talk a good game so I guess it’s now time for them to put their money where their mouths are.”

And it won’t just be Kiwi sports fans revelling in the chance to mix with their sporting heroes at the Black Clash showdown at Hagley Oval on January 25, star halfback Aaron Smith revealed.

“I’ve always loved cricket,” Smith, an age grade rep player who promises to provide plenty of energy and lip in the field, said.

“The thing I’m most exited about is the chance to meet Brendon McCullum. He’s a real hero of mine and now I’ll get the chance to see him smack a ball close -up. Hopefully just not off my bowling!

“That’s the great thing about this event, the way it brings together players from different sports. It’s going to be entertaining for sure – but also serious fun to be part of.”

The latest confirmations mean 10 of Sir Graham Henry’s Team Rugby spots are now filled.

“We’ve still got a couple of key additions to go – but it is fair to say I’m more than happy with the side we’ve assembled so far,” Sir Graham said.

“Obviously quite a few of the guys have got their hands full with rugby at the moment but after that we’ll start whipping them into shape.”

Team Cricket player-coach Stephen Fleming said he was hugely impressed with the star power on display in the Team Rugby line-up.

“Clearly Sir Graham still has quite a bit of influence with these guys as he seems to have landed just about every player he has targeted,” Fleming said. “They’ve got some pretty big guns in that line-up. It looks like I better get on with a bit more recruiting myself.”

The Hot Spring Spas T20 Christchurch Black Clash takes place at Hagley Oval, Christchurch on January 25. The match starts at 4.00pm and will be televised live and free-to-air by TVNZ.

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