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Jordie Barrett stays with NZR beyond RWC

Updated: Apr 17

All Black and Hurricane's midfielder Jordie Barrett is staying with NZR but taking a sabbatical
Jordie Barrett (centre) with brothers Beauden (left) and Scott (right). PHOTO: NZR

Hurricanes back Jordie Barrett has become the first All Black to commit to play for New Zealand Rugby beyond the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

The 27-year-old has put pen to paper on a new deal that will see him aligned with NZR, the Hurricanes and Taranaki until the end of 2028.

“I’m very proud of the way the All Blacks went at the last World Cup but there is still a burning desire to go one better at the next one,” Barrett said.

“And I’m enjoying the way things are going in Wellington with the Hurricanes. I can’t wait to get into a new World Cup cycle and be really energised by it.”

The length of the contract also signals Barrett’s interest in potentially playing against the British and Irish Lions who are set to tour New Zealand in 2029.

“Jordie’s commitment to the All Blacks shows his passion and loyalty for the jersey,” said All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. “We are proud he has shown that by signing for this length of time.”

NZR CEO Mark Robinson added: “Jordie has already shown he is world class, so to see the way he is setting himself up for further growth as a player and a person is exciting. He’s looking to build a lasting legacy and we are here to help make it happen.”

As part of the contract extension, Barrett will play a short stint in Ireland after his New Zealand commitments are over for 2024. Starting in December he will spend six months at Leinster, returning to a place that has strong connections to the Barrett family.

In 2000, Barrett and his family moved to County Meath when his father Kevin, a former Hurricanes and Taranaki lock, took up an offer to play professional rugby in Athlone while also managing a farm.

The relationships built during that period give this trip extra meaning for the 57-Test All Black who has set a goal of growing his game with a team that has provided the bulk of Ireland’s national squad for years.

“It’s a special place for the Barrett family,” he said. “We’ve got so many great family connections in Oldcastle, in County Meath and throughout Dublin. To have an opportunity to go back and meet some family and friends and connections that were made twenty years ago is pretty cool.”

Kevin and wife Robyn spent 15 months in County Meath with their six children - Kane, Beauden, Scott, Blake, Jordie and Jenna (daughters Ella and Zara were born after they moved back home to New Zealand).

When living in Ireland, the siblings attended St. Fiach’s National School in Ballinacree. Beauden and Scott have visited in recent years, while Jordie is looking forward to similar experiences.

“I’m certainly grateful to New Zealand Rugby – the Hurricanes are sending me off with their best wishes and are very excited which is awesome – and obviously to Razor for signing off.

“It’s going to be a great place for me to develop as a rugby player in a different environment where I’ll learn so many different things. And also to have a freshen up going into another World Cup cycle and some great years ahead with the All Blacks, Hurricanes and Taranaki.

“As a whole, I think this move is going to be really challenging, but a positive challenge. Heading north to different conditions, different teams, different referees - I think it will open my game up, make me see the game differently and I’ll ultimately bring the best bits back to New Zealand rugby and into a Test jersey, ideally, at the end of it.

“The reality of being a professional athlete is that you’ve only got a small window to have these opportunities and I’d love to be sitting there in twenty or thirty years with my kids or grandkids, knowing that I left no stone unturned, and I took up this opportunity to better myself.”

Robertson has worked alongside Barrett and Leinster’s high-performance staff, to work through a plan for the six-month stint.

“Jordie was very clear from the start around the fact that he wanted to use this sabbatical to improve his game,” said Robertson.

“We will help him achieve that while making sure he is looked after mentally and physically. After months of discussions and collaboration with Leinster, we feel they are the right club to do that. They have a proven track record of creating internationals and helping players achieve their goals.

“We know this will be hugely beneficial for Jordie as a person and as a player.”

Robinson added: “It’s pleasing to see the amount of work that has been put into making sure this arrangement is beneficial for everyone involved. One of the key things about a sabbatical is that you return feeling good about your mental and physical state. It’s clear this trip is about more than the rugby for Jordie so we are genuinely happy for him.”


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