Rugby: Barrett reunion in the wind

By Campbell Burnes

All Blacks lock Scott Barrett in action against France. Photo / Brett Phibbs
All Blacks lock Scott Barrett in action against France. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The wheels are in motion for a reunion of three of the Barrett brothers at provincial and Super Rugby levels.

Lock Scott Barrett, 23, is looking at a return to Taranaki for this year's Mitre 10 Cup and the Hurricanes in 2019 to join Beauden and Jordie.

Nothing is yet set in stone, however, says the Crusaders and All Blacks second-rower.

"I'm signed on with the Crusaders until the end of 2018, so I haven't thought too much beyond that point. I'm enjoying my time at the Crusaders and not getting too far ahead of myself," said Barrett.

There is speculation surrounding a possible shift to the Hurricanes in 2018, but Scott dismissed that idea.

"I have thought about [a shift to play with my brothers]. Last year, when I re-signed [with the Crusaders], I thought about it, but I did what I felt was best for my rugby development and was comfortable here," says Barrett, whose breakthrough 2016 was capped by four test appearances for the All Blacks.

He is now established as a Crusaders' starter, superseding Luke Romano, though he played on the blindside flank for last night's match against the Force.

Barrett say he is unsigned as yet for the Mitre 10 Cup and has the choice between staying at Canterbury, where he has virtually finished his rural studies at Lincoln University, or returning home to Taranaki.

"I'm working through that at the moment. I'm just weighing up Taranaki and Canterbury at this point. I'll take each case on its merits."

His father would love him to return home for his provincial rugby. Kevin Barrett played for the Hurricanes in 1996-97, and is a staunch Taranaki man and centurion.

"Taranaki is non-negotiable, but you can play for any Super team you like. The boys make their own choices. I'm just a sounding board for them," Barrett senior told Rugby News earlier this year.

Further to that, there is the chance of Beauden, Scott and Jordie all appearing for Taranaki, All Blacks commitments notwithstanding, while brothers Kane and Blake could be in Coastal club colours.

Not since the Clarkes played for Kereone and Waikato in the 1950s and 1960s has New Zealand rugby seen a set of five brothers appear together for club and province.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd would love to see Scott in Hurricanes colours.

"I guess blood is thicker than water. I had Scott in the [NZ] Under-20s in 2013. He's a good bloke and a good player. We certainly wouldn't say 'no', but we haven't had any discussions about that," says Boyd.

Barrett would bolster the Hurricanes' locking stocks, which have taken a hit with the indefinite absence of James Broadhurst, a season-ending injury to Geoff Cridge and the medium-term absence of Vaea Fifita. Boyd believes you need at least "4 locks" in a Super squad.

- NZ Herald

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