All Blacks star Beauden Barrett signs four-year deal with the Blues

Barrett, the 73-test All Black first five-eighths, is ending an eight-year association with the Hurricanes to join the Blues as part of a new four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby that will take him through till the 2023 World Cup.

Blues chief executive Michael Redman said the signing coup had been "years in the making" and was the most important player change the competition had ever seen.

Barrett and Ioane shortlisted for World Player of the Year gong

Barrett became the fifth consecutive All Blacks to win the prestigious gong last year and the fly-half could retain his crown in Monte Carlo on 26 November.

Ioane only made his Test debut 12 months ago and the rapid wing has been recognised for a magnificent start to his international career, having scored nine tries in 11 matches for the world champions.

England duo Owen Farrell and Marro Itoje have been shortlisted for the second year in a row following outstanding displays for their country, the British and Irish Lions and Saracens.

Barrett replaces Lima Sopoaga

The hard-working All Blacks first five-eighth, who has started all eight tests in 2017, was originally slated as one of six players to sit out the trip to Buenos Aires for the Rugby Championship clash against Argentina.

But that plan has proven ill-fated, with the 26-year-old called in at late notice to replace Southland's Lima Sopoaga in the travelling squad of 28 to face the Pumas, as the All Blacks look to seal another title with their fifth victory from as many matches in the competition.