All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett has opened up on his trials and tribulations from the kicking tee in a wide-ranging interview on Newstalk ZB.

Barrett, criticized in some quarters for the quality of his goalkicking, converted six-from-six in his last two matches against Argentina and South Africa, but when it came to the match winning kick against the Springboks in Pretoria, happily handed the tee over to Richie Mo'unga.

Mo'unga converted the kick in the 32-30 win when playing at first-five with Barrett switching to fullback when the Crusaders No. 10 came off the bench.

"On occasions when I'm perhaps not feeling particularly good about my kicking I can easily hand over the tee and that's something I've been conscious of," Barrett told Martin Devlin on Newstalk ZB.


"It's not something that will happen every test going forward, in fact the last two times I've done it I've been kicking really well. It's just about figuring out how it works, and with Richie coming off the bench, he had fresh legs too, so I enjoy going back to fullback and it's certainly a different perspective and chance to be a driver of the team from the back.

"From a leadership point of view it was also quite good to be able to help Rieko and Ben Smith in those huddles while Richie was kicking."

Barrett, a two-time world player of the year playing at No.10, said first-five is his preferred position, but is happy dropping to fullback later in games.

"Every game is different and it's something we'll look at when the team is named. Before the (Argentina) game we hadn't had a plan around what ifs, or the guy coming off the bench potentially taking over, so it's important that everyone's prepared.

"I feel most comfortable as a number 10, but starting in that position and going to the back - I enjoy that too. I prefer to be in the first-five eighth position but I'm really just happy to be on the field."

Kicking is still the one aspect of Barrett's game which requires the most attention, operating at around 70 per cent over his international career - a figure below-par by most standards. But his form across the last two tests has been perfect.

"When you can just calm that voice and eliminate all those external things and just be purely process driven, that's where you want to be. There are times when you stand over the ball and feel better than others, doesn't mean to say it's going to affect the outcome though."

Barrett described the difficulties dealing with the cauldron of sound at Loftus Versfeld in the All Blacks' win last weekend.


"It was so loud there were times when we couldn't get the ball to where we wanted to, open up the game and take those opportunities.

"I was screaming in one instance to Aaron, who was less than 10 metres away and he couldn't hear me so instead he hit the front runner and forwards and we missed an opportunity so that's what we're dealing with where everyone is so local and the crowd are so involved."

All Blacks flanker Sam Cane fractured a bone in his neck during the match and is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing a successful operation in South Africa.

All Blacks flanker Sam Cane gives the thumbs up after surgery on his neck fracture. Photo / Twitter
All Blacks flanker Sam Cane gives the thumbs up after surgery on his neck fracture. Photo / Twitter

"I don't know a guy currently in our squad who puts their head in the dark places as much as Sammy does. He sat up, saw the stretcher on the field and put his hand out and I helped him up and was like 'shit, he must be alright here'.

"But he didn't want to be stretchered off, he wanted to walk off himself and it wasn't until after the game where I thought 'where's Sammy' and heard he'd gone to hospital.

"I can't speak enough about how tough he is and I'm really glad it's nothing too serious from a neurology point of view."