Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd says it was never going to be as part of the starting team.
Boyd raised eyebrows by including World Player of Year Barrett among the reserves for their opening match against the Bulls in Pretoria, handing new signing Ihaia West the first five-eighth role.
He also joined the team late in Pretoria after attending two weddings over the weekend, including that of his retired brother and former Blues forward Kane Barrett.
Boyd said the limited preparation made it a straightforward selection choice as long ago as a month.
“We had a look at his year and decided that that was the best thing for him if he wasn’t able to play in the Blues game,” Boyd said.
“That was agreed some time ago, end of discussion.”
Barrett needs two more points to become the fourth player to score 1000 points in the competition after Dan Carter, Stirling Mortlock and Morne Steyn.
He will also become the youngest, achieving it a year ahead of former Bulls great Steyn, who was 27.
Meanwhile, Boyd expects West to step seamlessly into the No.10 duties after four mixed seasons with the Blues.
“We have very high expectations of his contribution to our team this year and I think the role and the position that he’ll assume for us is well suited to his skill set,” Boyd said.
West joins starting forwards Gareth Evans (Highlanders) and Toby Smith (Chiefs and Rebels) in making a Hurricanes debut after forging decent Super Rugby careers elsewhere.
Three others in line for debuts off the bench are halfback Jamie Booth, lock Murray Douglas and prop Alex Fidow.