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Scott Barrett reveals his stance on future All Blacks captaincy

By Ned Lester
(Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

Crusaders captain Scott Barrett isn’t looking too far ahead but admits he’d consider taking up the All Blacks‘ captainship after this year’s World Cup if the prestigious position was on offer.


Speaking to media from sunny Fiji ahead of the Crusaders’ Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Fijian Drua on Saturday, Barrett discussed his contract extension with New Zealand Rugby, the milestone 100 matches he’ll bring up with round three’s match and his thoughts on the role of All Blacks captain.

Barrett’s credentials for the role are as compelling as anyone who’s confirmed to be staying in New Zealand beyond the World Cup, having 58 Test caps to his name and captaining the Crusaders to three consecutive Super Rugby titles.

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“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” Barrett said. “I’m sitting in Fiji at the moment, preparing for the Drua and I think that is quite distant, but if there was the opportunity, by all means, that’s something I’d consider.

“It’s a huge job obviously, as I’ve sort of found with the Crusaders, and I’d anticipate that would be the next level, so me being a deep thinker, I’d give it some thought.”


Of the current leadership group within the All Blacks, Sam Whitelock and Ardie Savea have confirmed moves to Japan while Dane Coles has confirmed his retirement at the conclusion of 2023, Sam Cane has the option in his contract to play abroad in 2024 but has not announced his plans of yet.

One man with a ringing endorsement of Barrett is current Crusaders coach – and potentially Ian Foster’s successor with the All Blacks – Scott Robertson.


“He is an incredible player with the skills of a coach,” Robertson said of his captain. “His experience, the respect and mana he has in every team he plays for makes him a massive asset.”

Barrett admitted there was a learning curve when he took on the captaincy of the Crusaders, but now the All Black utility forward has learnt to trust his work ethic and lead by example.

“I think, initially, you care about how the team performs and how the team is doing,” Barrett continued. “And sometimes I learnt the hard way. You can care a wee bit too much and you try to cover too much.

“What I’ve found now, later on, is you’ve just got to play well and influence the team through that. You give a bit of direction when needed, but most of it is through playing well.”


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Shaylen 3 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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Jon 9 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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