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The secret behind Barrett's stunning form

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/08/2016 Darren Walton

Beauden Barrett and Julian Savea celebrate a try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final in London. © Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Beauden Barrett and Julian Savea celebrate a try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final in London. Beauden Barrett credits yoga and pilates sessions for helping take his rugby to dazzling new heights.

Barrett's transformation from All Blacks super-sub to main man is complete following his selection as starting five-eighth for Saturday's Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup opener against the Wallabies in Sydney.

In promoting Barrett and relegating Aaron Cruden, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the 25-year-old's electric form while piloting the Hurricanes to their maiden Super Rugby claim were impossible to ignore.

"Saturday night can't come any quicker, but I don't want to play the game too soon so I'm staying relaxed at this point," Barrett said.

He's been relaxed and bamboozling opposition defences all year with his skill and blinding speed.

But his physical powers have never been questioned and it's new-found mental strength and ability to manage games - as Hansen puts it - that has proven the difference in 2016.

Barrett attributes the stunning improvement to his yoga and pilates workouts.

"It's been great. It's more of a recovery thing for me," he said.

"I've been working on my flexibility. That's been vital for me. I'm quite a stiff bloke so extra sessions here and there have certainly helped.

"It's great for the mind as well as the body and it's just getting that right balance and I've seen great benefits from that.

"I'm always looking to grow my game. I still have a lot of growth to do.

"The key thing is I'm just enjoying my footy at the moment and if that means I'm playing better rugby, I'm just in a better head space."

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