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All Black star Barrett signs for URC giants

TRANSFER NEWS: All Black star Jordie Barrett will be joining Irish province Leinster on a short-term deal.


In signing a new contract extension with the New Zealand Rugby Union, the 27-year-old has exercised an option to play overseas and he will join up with his new teammates at the end of the year.

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 Irelandโ€™s national squad for years.

Meanwhile, Barrett has become the first All Black to commit his services to New Zealand Rugby (NZR) beyond the 2027 World Cup.


He 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.

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

Speaking about the decision to join Leinster, the All Black said: “Itโ€™s going to be a great place for me to develop as a rugby player in a different environment where Iโ€™ll learn so many different things.

โ€œIreland is a special place for the Barrett family. Weโ€™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. Fiachโ€™s National School in Ballinacree. Beauden and Scott have visited in recent years, while Jordie is looking forward to similar experiences.

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

“Itโ€™s going to be a great place for me to develop as a rugby player in a different environment where Iโ€™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 Iโ€™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 youโ€™ve only got a small window to have these opportunities and Iโ€™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.”

All Black coach Scott Robertson has worked alongside Barrett and Leinsterโ€™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 team 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.”

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