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Rugby World Cup: Siblings shelve rivalry as All Blacks target England

RUGBY By AFP | October 25th 2019 | 3 min read
New Zealand players perform the Haka dance before their Rugby World Cup 2019 match in Tokyo Stadium, on October 19. [Reuters]

Beauden, Scott and Jordie Barrett are the first sibling trio to play together for the All Blacks, but fraternal rivalry has been shelved in Japan as they help New Zealand go for a third successive World Cup.

That rivalry, Beauden explained, would no doubt rear its ugly head when the trio resumed their knock-about games of cricket on the family dairy farm in New Zealand’s North Island province of Taranaki.

“We’re all pretty competitive,” acknowledged Beauden Barrett, at 28 the eldest of the trio with Scott 25 and Jordie 22.

“But you’d probably find more rivalry on the back lawn at home in the summertime playing backyard cricket than you would in camp.

“We all play in different positions so it’s hard to compare. Ultimately we’re trying to do the best for the team in our roles.”

Hooker Dane Coles, however, described the Barrett trio as very different people.

“Jordie’s a psycho because he’s been bullied by Scooter (Scott). Scooter’s the one who’s nice and calm,” he said.

“Baz (Beauden) is in between, he does lose it now and again but he does have that calmness about him.”

Coles immediately jumped back in on Jordie: “We play a bit of darts in the team room, and Jordie loses the guts if he throws a bad dart, he’s a psycho, a psycho!”

All three Barretts were named in Steve Hansen’s side to face England in Saturday’s World Cup semi-final in Yokohama, with Beauden and Scott starting while Jordie is on the bench.

Jordie admitted that their father, Kevin ‘Smiley’ Barrett, a former Hurricanes and Taranaki lock/flanker, would likely try to pass on some top tips to Scott, picked at blindside.

“I’m sure he’ll try to add his 10 cents in the next couple of days,” Jordie Barrett said.

“As long as he doesn’t follow some of dad’s tactics from 1998 -- you probably can’t get away with now!”

Beauden Barrett roomed with Jordie last week, but has found himself with Scott this week, for the first time since 2002.

“He’s a bit bigger since the top bunk he slept in -- he probably wouldn’t fit! I was on the bottom bunk back in 2002,” he said.

“It’s great to room with him, he’s clearly got his rugby head on because the other night he was sleep-talking and was calling out line-out moves.”

With Richie Mo’unga starting at fly-half, Beauden Barrett has slotted into a free-roaming full-back role such is his versatility, an attribute obvious in all the Barretts.

“As a back the skill sets required from a 10 or 15 are pretty similar,” Beauden said.

“As for Jordie, he can cover the midfield too probably because of his size and physicality.”

Scott is the biggest of the three and is usually a second-row forward.

“Because of his skill set, his good handling skills and ball carrying ability, he can probably play six (blindside flanker) well too,” said Beauden.

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