Rugby

Jet-heeled McKenzie fails to beat Barrett's 'Bronco' record

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ByReuters
21/05/2020 at 05:21 | Updated 21/05/2020 at 05:23

WELLINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) - All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett's record in the dreaded 'Bronco' fitness test still stands after Damian McKenzie failed to better the mark despite posting a "jet shoes quick" time on Thursday.

The Bronco is standard for Super Rugby sides and is also used by the All Blacks to evaluate fitness and test the ability to change direction at speed.

The Auckland Blues said Barrett clocked a record of four minutes and 12 seconds on Monday for the test, where players cover a distance of 1.2km in five sets of 20, 40 and 60m shuttle runs, and wiped eight seconds off his best time.

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All Blacks fitness trainer Nic Gill had earlier in the week tipped McKenzie to challenge Barrett's record but his Waikato Chiefs assistant coach Tabai Matson said on Thursday he had been about 10 seconds slower.

"He (McKenzie) is jet shoes quick when it comes to a Bronco (but) there were no world records broken," Matson told reporters on a conference call.

"But remember, we're not at sea level here in Hamilton, so they've got an advantage up in Auckland, that's what I'll say."

Matson said McKenzie had clocked a time "somewhere in the 4:20s". He had the best time for the Chiefs.

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, widely considered one of the fittest men in world rugby, had a personal best for the test of around 4:56, Stuff Media reported earlier this week.

McCaw, however, was a loose forward and carried additional muscle, making him heavier than the two speedy backs.

Super Rugby has been suspended since mid-March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and is unlikely to resume again this year but a domestic competition for the New Zealand sides is to start on June 13. Players returned to training on Monday. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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