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RugbyU: Hurricane Barrett turns down Blues

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

All Black back Beauden Barrett revealed Thursday he has resisted overtures from the Auckland Blues and will stay with the Wellington Hurricanes for next year's Super 15 season.

Barrett had reportedly been mulling for weeks an offer from Blues coach John Kirwan, who is also chasing rugby league star Benji Marshall.

But the 22-year-old Barrett said he had decided to stay loyal to the Hurricanes, who finished 11th this year, one spot below the Blues.

"Pleased to say I have recommitted to @Hurricanesrugby for next season. I feel we have unfinished business. Thanks for your support," he tweeted.

Barrett was the third-highest points scorer in Super rugby this season with 186. He has played eight Tests since making his debut for the All Blacks against Ireland last year and is regarded as one of the team's rising stars.

Meanwhile, The New Zealand Herald reported that Marshall has reached a verbal agreement with the Blues and is set to be unveiled on Saturday after a final appearance for the Wests Tigers on Friday in Australia's National Rugby League.

Blues half-back Piri Weepu, a friend of Marshall's who encouraged him to switch to union, said the 28-year-old had the skills to flourish in the game if he was prepared to work hard.

"For me it's a question of waiting to see what his mindset is like," Weepu told Radio Sport. "If he's willing to do some dirty work in terms of putting your head down in a ruck and smashing some guy that's over the ball."

Marshall, a former New Zealand rugby league captain, was also being courted by Australian Super 15 clubs the NSW Waratahs and the Melbourne Rebels.

He has been tipped as an ideal candidate for the New Zealand Sevens team when the rugby union spin-off makes its Olympic debut in 2016.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130807/rugbyu-hurricane-barrett-turns-down-blues