NZ Herald

Beauden Barrett has thrown a dash of spice into the mix of his first anticipated clash against the Hurricanes by recalling how he used to make younger brother Jordie cry in the backyard.

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Barrett is preparing to make his debut for the Blues when Super Rugby Aotearoa kicks off next week after enjoying his sabbatical break following last year’s World Cup semifinal defeat in Japan.

The scene could not have been scripted any better as Barrett not only confronts his former long-time teammates but also brother Jordie, who is six years Beauden’s junior.

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While Barrett has squared off a number of times against fellow younger brother, Crusaders lock Scott, this will be the first time he comes to blows with Hurricanes fullback Jordie since their backyard tussles on the family’s Taranaki farm.

“He’s a big boy now – it’s been a while since I used to make him cry at home in the backyard,” Beauden said with a chuckle during an interview on Sky Sport’s The Breakdown show. “It’s going to be a good match-up. Hopefully I can get out there on the park. I can’t take anything for granted.

“With Scott I didn’t actually bump into him too often being a big brute in the second row whereas in the backs we do clash a fair bit so there may be a few contacts.

“There’s nothing like taking the field and competing and it’s going to be extra significant being against my old mates. I’ve done so much training up until this point so I can’t wait to rip in and put on a Blues jersey for the first time.”

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Barrett and wife Hannah are expecting their first daughter in September. Asked by All Blacks centurion Mils Muliaina which is more daunting – the prospect of changing the first nappy or taking the first contact after a seven-month absence, Barrett said: “I must say I’m a bit more daunted about changing a nappy than I am making a tackle… unless it’s Ngani Laumape or Ben Lam.”

Pressed on whether he had traded any secrets of the way the Hurricanes play the game, Barrett attempted to downplay his inside information despite spending eight years in the capital.

“Leon MacDonald and the other coaches have done a great job analysing the Canes. Through that what I’ve told them isn’t much more than what they already know. They haven’t changed the way the play dramatically so it’s probably more around personnel and understanding the behaviours of my former teammates that I can pass on my experiences with.”

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission.

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