There has been a huge debate going on in New Zealand since coach Steve Hansen named his Rugby Championship squad this week.
It normally becomes a problem with a team like the All Blacks having so many star players to pick from with only 23 places available for a match-day squad.
Former All Black legend Dan Carter has now also joined the debate backing Barrett over Mo’unga.Dan Carter has backed Beauden Barrett to hang on to the much-debated All Blacks no 10 jersey over Richie Mo’unga.
“It’s obviously hotly debated at the moment and credit to Richie Mo’unga for putting his hand up over a fantastic season,” Carter said at Westlake Boys’ High School after being unveiled by former Prime Minister John Key as an ambassador for the sports charity ISPS Handa.
“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.”
Barrett, who has 65 test caps to his name, has been one of the best players on the planet for the last few years – winning two consecutive World Player of the Year awards – but hasn’t been at his best of late.
Meanwhile, Mo’unga has had an exceptional season for the Crusaders, helping them to a ninth Super Rugby title. It has created calls from some fans and pundits to give the young first-five a shot at the No 10 jersey.
Carter, who held the jersey himself for so long, says the intense competition is a good thing for the team.
“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,” he said.
“It’s great there’s competition. Damian’s not a bad talent as well. It’s great the All Blacks have such depth.”