After more than two months of no rugby activity due to the Covid-19 lockdown, a familiar name made his mark for a new club as New Zealand’s five Super Rugby Aotearoa teams hit the training pitch on Monday.
Beauden Barrett is still yet to make his much-anticipated debut for the Blues, but that didn’t stop him from entering their history books with a record time for the Bronco Test.
According to the All Blacks website, Barrett blitzed the gruelling aerobic fitness test in a club record time of 4 minutes and 12 seconds.
The time was also a personal best for Barrett and was two seconds clear of scrumhalf Jonathan Ruru.
Even the coach of Barrett’s former Hurricanes side, Jason Holland, was surprised by the star All Blacks’ time.
“Was it really … s**t, you’d have to check those measurements,’ Holland told New Zealand’s Stuff website.
“That’s quicker than Jordie (Beauden’s younger brother) … I don’t
think I’ve ever heard of that quick. Somewhere between 4.20 and 4.26,
something like that [was Jordie’s time].”
Things looked a little different for New Zealand players under Covid-19 Alert Level 2.
Not only was there no heavy contact on day one of training, teams also had to adhere to a new set of health and safety guidelines. Temperatures were checked on arrival at each of the training venues, distance was kept between players, and training equipment and hands were sanitised at regular intervals.
Super Rugby Aotearoa sees each of New Zealand’s five teams play each other twice over a 10-round competition. The action kicks off on 13 June when the Highlanders take on the Chiefs in Dunedin.
What is the Bronco Test?
The Bronco is a 1 200m aerobic Shuttle Test involving running to-and-from a start line to 20m, 40m and 60m marks, 5 times without a break The purpose of this test is to a get an estimate of maximal aerobic running speed.