Kirwan : Blues won’t chase Barrett for 2015

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has confirmed that he will not chase rising All Black star Beauden Barrett’s signature in the off season as he is happy to stick with the players he has.

Kirwan has also revealed that he is confident that he can retain All Black midfielder Ma’a Nonu even though the World Cup winner has a get out clause for the second year in his contract.

The Blues coach has been fully focused on keeping his team alive in Super Rugby ahead of their must win clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch and has been reluctant to talk about future signings aside from Nonu and Barrett.

“We’re really happy with Simon (Hickey) and Ihaia (West), so we’re going to go internally,” Kirwan told Stuff of his plans at No 10.

“We’re talking to both those guys and hopefully will have results (soon). But our focus this week is the Crusaders and we just want to put all those things aside for a wee bit.”

Kirwan said that Nonu was playing “exceptionally well” and “we want him to stay, so we’re cruising along and hoping he will be with us for next year which is what he has in his contract”.

The Blues will welcome back international Charles Piutau after a month out with knee injury and Kirwan has hinted that the fullback could be thrown straight back in.

“He’s available, and when you’ve got someone of his quality around, getting him back out there is a real positive. We just need to go through the next couple of days and make sure he ticks off from 98 per cent to 100.”

Kirwan is likely to stick largely with the team that ran out against the Force with the exception of backup prop Angus Ta’avao (broken nose/concussion) and reserve halfback Piri Weepu who has a leg injury.

By beating the Force 14-40 in Perth the Blues ended an almost two year losing streak in away matches and while Kirwan is happy to have broken the jinx he admitted that it would mean little if they don’t win again this weekend.

“We’re really happy to get the gorilla off our back but there’s another pretty big one waiting down the line, so we’ve just got to get back to working hard,” he said.

“If you’re a good side you have to go down and win really tough football games and this is a tough football game,” he said.

“They’re really hard to beat down there but if you want to be successful in this tournament you need those wins and guys need to be up for the challenge.

“We realise they’ll be hurting from last weekend, but they’ve got an extra life, and we’ve got no lives. They could probably still make it losing one (more) game, so the pressure is a little less on them. “

“But we know it’s going to be a mammoth evening and if you want win down there everyone’s got to play well.”

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