The Hurricanes new flyhalf Beauden Barrett will have his hands full against the Lions on Friday, but despite the player exodus there are several rising stars in the Wellington side's camp.
With minimal Super Rugby experienced Barrett, nicknamed 'Cat' by his teammates, pulled on the No.10 jersey against the Stormers last weekend and marshalled his troops with aplomb.
The usually watertight Stormers defence leaked 26 points including an intercept try for Barrett, who also created opportunities for his outside backs whenever he touched the ball.
"When we managed to string a few phases together we played well, but for most of the match I felt we were starved of the ball," Barrett told this website in an exclusive interview.
"I felt pretty lucky with the intercept to be honest," he humbly added.
"I though it was just a matter of time before [Gio] Aplon mowed me down before the tryline, so I was delighted to get over and score."
Having made his Super Rugby debut off the bench against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last season while Aaron Cruden was out injured, Barrett's rise through the Hurricanes ranks has been swift.
The 20-year-old will go head-to-head with Lions' 21-year-old pivot Elton Jantjies on Friday in what young be the first of many battles between the two young playmakers.
"Elton's a classy player from what I've seen so it should be a good challenge," Barrett said.
"We'll need to be careful with out discipline against the Lions - looking at last week they'll punish you if you give away too many penalties.
"And if our discipline had been a bit sharper then it could have gone either way against the Stormers."
Barrett is also equally capable at fullback, where he played for the triumphant Baby Blacks in the IRB Junior World Championships last year.
"There were a few 10s in the team and we couldn't all start there, so I played fullback and enjoyed that, but flyhalf is definitely my preferred position," he explained.
Barrett also played for the New Zealand Sevens team in 2010 before developing his game with Taranaki in the NPC.
The 'Canes starlet could have a bright future ahead of him and joins a group of Kiwi youngsters snapping at Dan Carter's heels for All Blacks honours.
Despite being a self-confessed non-red meat eater, Barrett wouldn't mind taking a chunk out of the Lions on Friday.
"I don't eat red meat - I don't like the taste, so I'll eat pork, chicken and fish," he added.
By Timmy Hancox
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.