All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett isn’t taking his focus off the ultimate goal this off-season as the World Cup looms, admitting that he thinks about the tournament ‘every day’ and this is the most he has ever trained in the off-season in an interview with Stuff.co.nz.
“It naturally pops into my mind every now and then, especially when you’re training,” Barrett said.
“Every time you train, you train for a reason, for a purpose and ultimately that’s a big goal of mine at the end of the season.
“It’s something that we’re all working towards, so I think about it every day.
The All Blacks were brought down to earth on the Northern tour after a 16-9 loss to Ireland highlighted how close the top Northern Hemisphere teams are to the All Blacks.
The message from coach Hansen was to enjoy the summer break and freshen up but be ready by February because it will be ‘all go’ as the All Blacks push for a record third World Cup title in a row.
“I can’t remember exactly what was said,” Barrett said.
“But something along the lines of ‘make sure you really freshen up because it’s going to be a big year. So it’s important to switch off, get around your loved ones, because come February it’s all go.’
“Obviously there were a couple of results we weren’t too pleased about, but at least it gave us a good idea of where we need to be come World Cup time.”
The 27-year-old will be on an extended break as part of NZR plans to ensure that the top players are ready for the showpiece event, but that hasn’t stopped Barrett training the house down, claiming it’s the most he’s ever trained in an off-season.
“This is probably the most I’ve ever trained over an off-season, because I’ve got an extended break.
“I’m trying to keep my fitness up and that way you enjoy the break too. You do the work in the morning and then you can have the rest of the day off and really enjoy it.”
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