Belfast Telegraph

Lions Tour: Jordie 'can flourish on big stage like his brothers'

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

They've already got three All Blacks in the house, but tomorrow’s game is set to be a special occasion for the Barrett clan, once of Co Meath, as they prepare to watch Beauden, Scott and Jordie in black.

Steve Hansen yesterday admitted that the trio of capped brothers are a most unusual combination, but they are taking the achievement in their stride.

At 26, World Cup winner Beauden is by far the most established but 20-year-old Jordie is very highly rated and has been pitched into the game of his life for his first start in black.

Scott will be introduced off the bench as he has been in both Tests to date and father Kevin and mother Robyn will travel from the family farm near New Plymouth to be in the crowd.

Hansen has few fears about pitching the youngest sibling — who was eligible to play for New Zealand at this year’s U20 World Cup — into battle.

“He’s very good in the air and he’s a good defender,” the head coach said. “We have worked hard on his positioning and he is a quality player. He played well for the Hurricanes against the Lions, we have confidence in him.

“He comes from fairly good stock and is a calm and confident bloke. We would not have picked him if we didn’t think he could play. Whatever happens, he’s only going to get better.”

There has been much speculation that the younger man will do the kicking, but Hansen suggested Beauden may keep the tee. He said: “I think they both want to do the kicking. When both brothers want something, it’s usually the older brother who gets to do it first.”

Later, the pair of Hurricanes conducted a combined press conference in which Beauden suggested they’d have a contest for the responsibility.

“We will have a competition later this afternoon and see what happens,” the World Player of the Year said.

“I don’t know if I have given him any advice. He doesn’t need it. I think with the outside backs in their little group they have been communicating really well.”

Jordie has no fears of the step up. He said: “I am really excited. I can’t wait to get stuck in. We have all got our responsibility in this team and whether it is one Test or 100, we have got to do our job.”

It is a major step up, but the Barretts appear to be born for this big stage.

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