Beauden Barrett eyes All Blacks' No 10 jersey

The race for the All Blacks No 10 and No 15 jerseys has become more intense - but perhaps a lot simpler.

Beauden Barrett, the two-time World Rugby player of the year who has been the All Blacks No 15 for the past two years, told Stuff he wants to be seen as a “specialist No 10” and is driven by the thought of returning to New Zealand and improving in his preferred jersey.

“Absolutely,” Barrett said from Japan, where he is relishing time in the Suntory No 10 jersey in the fast-improving Top League competition.

“I've always wanted to be team first [but] I guess this 10-15 thing has been a system selection.

“I've got no doubt I wasn’t the best out and out No 15 for the All Blacks, especially with Jordie [Barrett] and Damo [Damian McKenzie] around last year.

“But the way we wanted to play I could understand that and I bought into that.

“But going forward there's no hiding from the fact that Damian and Jordie and Will [Jordan] are all playing great rugby.

“But regardless of that I’m really enjoying my time playing No 10 here at Suntory.

“It's given me that burning desire to be better than what I have been before in the All Blacks No 10 jersey.”