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'Damaging' Jordie Barrett move only helps All Blacks- ex-Ireland wing

By Josh Raisey
Jordie Barrett of New Zealand looks dejected during the Autumn Nations Series match between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Jordie Barrett’s blockbuster move to Leinster at the end of the year has been questioned by former winger Luke Fitzgerald, who believes it will be damaging for both the province and Ireland.

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The All Blacks centre will make the move to Dublin at the end of 2024 on a short-term sabbatical before returning to New Zealand.

While this is one of the most hotly anticipated moves of the year, the former Ireland and Leinster wing Fitzgerald has his reservations.

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The 34-cap international said on the Irish Independent’s ‘The Left Wing’ podcast soon after the move was made that he is looking forward to watching Barrett play for Leinster, but feels it may curtail the progress of other players in the squad, which ultimately damages Leinster and Ireland.

What’s more, Fitzgerald said the move will improve Barrett’s game due to the system in Ireland, which in turn will help the All Blacks. He used the situation with Leinster-bound Munster lock RG Snyman as an example of how South Africa have benefited immensely from his time in Ireland.

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Given what this move offers to Barrett, Fitzgerald understands why the player has made this decision, but does think there will be ramifications.

“It’s not really Leinster’s responsibility to make sure that all the other provinces are successful. That’s up to those provinces to go ahead and do that,” he said.

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“But at the moment I just really don’t like the shape of this. Nothing against Jordie Barrett- a quality player, seems like a cool bloke, hard worker, he’s in great shape, he’ll definitely bring on Leinster as an outfit and help them compete for European gold again.

“But I just wonder like where does he go? So you’ve got [Robbie] Henshaw and [Garry] Ringrose in the centres, and I’ve got [Hugo] Keenan in there, which is where he’ll probably be playing most of his rugby. Would you start him ahead of any of those guys? I certainly wouldn’t, I think that would be damaging for Ireland and I think probably for Leinster as well. They’re all local Irish guys, I want to go see those guys to be honest with you as much as I’d like to see Jordie Barrett play.

“Then we get to the wings. So you’ve got James Lowe who’s obviously a project but he’s Irish now. On the other wing you’ve got Larmour, who’s starting to play some great rugby, Jimmy O’Brien coming back in, and let’s throw into the mix now, you’ve got [Ciaran] Frawley who would be sitting on the bench if you don’t start him, and then you’ve got [Jamie] Osborne who’s likely going to be sitting on the bench as well.

“So do you curtail his progress? So I don’t know where this one makes sense either. It’s very exciting that he’s coming, I can’t wait to watch him, but I just don’t think it makes any sense for a variety of reasons. That’s not having to go with him. I’m delighted he’s coming over.

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“I know why he’s coming, I think Leinster would be perfect for him because you’re taking a risk going over to places like Japan because the quality rugby is just not the same- very, very different. He’ll come back I think a better player.

“The Irish system does look after its players. You look at Snyman, they’ve done a great job with him for South Africa. He’s barely played any rugby here and he comes back in great condition because the rehab facilities and all that kind of stuff is really, really good and the time management’s really good.

“So he goes back a better player from this experience and he’ll have a few extra quid in his pocket, and possibly a medal in his pocket.

“So it’s a great move for him. It’s good for Leinster in some ways, but in other ways and I think I’m more leaning this way, I don’t like it for Leinster either. I think the homegrown talent that they have, I really feel it might curtail some of these things.”

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Comments

22 Comments
M
Michael 66 days ago

It’s been said that Nienaber will head back to SA too before next World Cup , hoarding all the amazing IP gained in Irish system … get a grip … Irish system needs to Milk the likes of Barrett . First time a leading all Black in his prime has gone to Ireland for any period of time . Enjoy it .

P
Paul 67 days ago

Don’t pay a blind bit of notice to Lukie… he likes the sound of his own voice and is always looking for something controversial to say. He has been banging on about Leinster's defensive system all season like he knows something Jacques Nienebar doesn’t. Which is the reason why he didn’t apply for the job obviously

M
Michael 67 days ago

Who got the benefits out of Schmidt, Lowe, Aki, and Gibson Park?

m
monty 67 days ago

What’s new its a common occurrence, just the journos out there expecting a negative spin. The outcome will be beneficial to jordie and Leinster. The home grown lads hav got some experience to step up to and be more competitive, that or spend the 6 months keeping the bench warm.

B
Bull Shark 67 days ago

There’s value gleaned from having an All Black star running and training with your team. How many games he starts (or even where he plays in the backline) will be decided on a week by week basis based on the needs for that week. But the overall learning and growth for all concerned, I’d think, is massively beneficial. Especially for Irish players.

J
Jen 67 days ago

Pffft. It’s not a one-way street bud and Irish teams don’t seem to have had an issue taking kiwi players previously.

J
John 67 days ago

It’s 12-15 games Luke. Ringrose has barely played in 2024 and Henshaw and Keenan have also been out for spells in the same time period. There are always injuries and for younger players to play with the likes of Barrett will be great for them. It’s just looking for negatives where there are none.

b
by George! 67 days ago

Jordie knows that he has to earn the right to put on the jersey, whatever that jersey might be.

J
Jasyn 67 days ago

Good grief it’s only six months.

Probably just upset it’s not an established kiwi entering their prime they can “project” into green to join the rest.

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sean 26 minutes ago
The bite don't match the bark

Yeah, he has a few good points… I disagree that our 7s haven't done anything, we won Bronze in 2016, and we were virtually unplayable to the backend of the “teens” winning the series. 7s is far more competitive globally than Union, so it's fair to say we haven't dominated, but we are almost always contenders. But I do agree that our national side doesn't perform nearly as well as it should between World Cups, and I do agree that our supporters can be too passionate and the opitimity of what Rugby stands against. I have said so many times. And I also believe some context needs to be taken into account with Saturday's win for Ireland. They're a really good team! Settled coaching staff, and bar a few legends retiring, they've had a full season and plenty of time together. We have some youngsters being groomed for the future, have played only 3 games now under a new coaching team with new philosophies and game plans. I'm excited by what the future of this team holds, as much as I am disappointed by the result. But unlike this article suggests, I am never going to take away from what Ireland has achieved, is achieving, and where they're heading. As a Rugby fan, I love the tight games, like the last two weekends. As a Bok Super Fan, I agree we don't perform as well as we should. And as an aside, you come play a game at 7am on our fields, bud. -2°c and frost on the field that is as hard as concrete…. Then we’ll see just how tough you are. Well done Ireland! They played well, and gave our boys a lot to think about. That's what you want from the top two teams in the world. Rugby won. The fans of this greatbsport won. A'n bullshit like this article is why Rugby is losing its identity. I don't like soccer. This article perpetuates the soccer influences the game of Rugby is starting to see. It's why Wayne Barnes retired, feared for his family, and he isn't the only ref to say so. I have called out many Bok fans for being an embarrassment to the game, and I will continue to do so. Rugbypass.com, this article is close to the same bullshit. You should be better.

33 Go to comments
M
Michael 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Cant deny Christie is a good defender, box kicks well at times, BUT he’s a second too slow passing from the ground. Roigard, Ratima and Hotham will be our 2027 halfbacks I believe DMAC has played reasonably well in both games, so deserves to keep his place - his two breaks at Eden Park should have resulted in tries. Reece was really to blame for the Taylor failure - he stayed too wide, if he had come in a couple of meters the pass from Taylor would have worked. The Perofeta failure was extraordinary, he is normally such a good distributor, failure to draw in Steward was remarkable, failure to look inside was a shocker. Cory Flynn as lineout coach… umm something a miss here. Not sure who is calling the lineouts, but clearly we miss Whitelock’s leadership. Having a disfunctional line out really underminded the AB attack. But let’s remind ourselves Itoje is a master, and their tactics of going for the arms of the jumper on landing and pulling over was brilliant causing Paddy and Scooter to both fumble the balls. I am a Blues supporter so I like Talea, but if you play him on the wrong wing look out. While he’s not the fastest wing, he’s elusive and very industrious always looking for work. However, he’s not the tallest player, and everyone knows his weakness (a) being turned in defence - he’s slow to turn and react and (b) never jumps for high balls is normally out jumped. Personally, I find Recce and Talea too alike - Razor needs to couple them with another complementary partner Clark and Narawa respectively. However, for me the real troubling challenge is our mid-field. I am sorry Barrett & Ioane are a poor combo - either Barrett & Proctor or ALB & Ioane - but having two mid-fielders who are poor distributors is nuts. Jordie had a forgettable game in truth he missed so many tackles, which to be fair is unlike him. But sadly both Barrett and Ioane chose to bash first and rarely distribute cleanly.

22 Go to comments
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