Anyone who has a younger brother, or an older one for that matter, can probably identify with how Beauden Barrett describes the competitive spirit that burns within Jordie, his junior by six years.

It is borne of being the youngest kid knocking around, sometimes literally, with older children and what has fuelled the 21-year-old's ambition to make the most of his vast array of talents — and 1.96m frame — to the point where last year he started at fullback against the British and Irish Lions in the third test at Eden Park.

It is also what has probably driven his comeback from major shoulder surgery to his selection in the All Blacks No15 jersey against the French in the first test of the year tomorrow.

"In terms of temperament he is probably better than me in that department," the 27-year-old Beauden said of Jordie. "[There is a] quiet competitiveness. We don't talk about it but I can assure you that when we were playing backyard footy and cricket there was all that going on.


"Jordie ... being the youngest trying to keep up with all the big boys ... there were many times he would be steaming in with the cricket ball and crying at the same time."

That last line in particular will strike a chord with those familiar with brotherly dynamics, and those long days and nights in the backyard of the family farm between Pungarehu and Rahotu, south of New Plymouth, have paid dividends, with Beauden, Jordie and Scott, 24, starting for the All Blacks against France, the first time three brothers have done so in the black jersey.

It will be Jordie's third test and will come nearly a week after he made headlines after a late-night fast-food expedition in the wrong Dunedin house, but such is his mental and physical toughness, learned from his six siblings and school of hard knocks in Taranaki, that he is unlikely to be fazed either by the attention of the French or the public's scrutiny. A big week for the youngster? Not according to coach Steve Hansen.

"It was a big week made by other people," he said. "All he did was get lost and was eating hamburgers at too late an hour. He's learned the lesson from that and we dealt with that pretty quickly as a team and he has moved on.

"He realises it was a stuff-up but he's been good and he's trained well and he really wants to be part of the group. He's no different to his two brothers in that department.

"They are their own men. Beaudy and Jordie look pretty similar apart from one being a little taller than the other. Scooter [Scott] is more stoic. Beauden is a class player, isn't he, and he's comfortable in his own skin and Jordie is finding his way as a professional. The one thing they all have in common is competitiveness; they want to win everything they do."

For Beauden, starting alongside two of his brothers in the All Blacks for the first time is a special occasion and so it should be.

"It is one thing to be selected in the squad together, and to be in the 23 together, but to start is a very proud moment for me and my family so we are really looking forward to it," he said.

The Barrett boys' grandmother Mary, who proudly keeps scrapbooks recording all of her grandchildren's rugby exploits, will be present at Eden Park and will get a first-hand look at Jordie as he endeavours to add to what is becoming an incredible family dynasty, one that reflects rather well on dad Kevin "Smiley" Barrett, a former Taranaki loose forward who had always said one of his life aims was to "breed an All Black".

Beauden said of Jordie: "He's great; he has trained really well this week and he is in a great head space. It is not often he gets flustered or fazed by the big occasions.

Occasionally he gets a hot head on the field and he has got that streak in him, which can be a good thing."