Beauden Barrett has done enough throughout his career to hold onto his number 10 jersey ahead of the in-form Richie Mo’unga, according to Dan Carter.
Hurricanes fly-half Barrett has been the All Blacks’ first choice in that position since June 2016, winning the World Player of the Year on each of the past two occasions.
But Mo’unga put in some stellar performances to guide the Crusaders to a second successive Super Rugby title, sealed with a 37-18 victory over the Lions on Saturday.
Barrett was slightly below his best during the 2018 campaign, which was ended by the eventual champions at the semi-final stage, prompting calls for Mo’unga to be given a starting berth.
“It’s obviously hotly debated at the moment and credit to Richie Mo’unga for putting his hand up over a fantastic season,” Carter told the New Zealand Herald.
“It’s hard to go past what Beauden’s achieved over the last couple of years. A lot of the All Blacks’ success has come because of his performances. He’s a leader of the team now.
“I’ve been in that position with young guys nipping at your heels. It makes you work harder and appreciate your position in the team more.
“It’s great there’s competition. Damian [McKenzie, of the Chiefs] is not a bad talent as well. It’s great the All Blacks have such depth.”
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