All Black Barrett wants ‘positive challenge’ at Leinster

Home » All Black Barrett wants ‘positive challenge’ at Leinster

Leinster have announced the signing of All Black Jordie Barrett on a short-term deal.

The utility back will join the Irish province for part of next season after the 27-year-old signed a contract extension through to 2028 with the New Zealand Rugby Union that includes an option for an overseas sabbatical.

He is set to arrive in Dublin in December 2024.

“It’s going to be a great place for me to develop as a rugby player in a different environment where I’ll learn so many different things,” said Barrett.

“As a whole, I think this move is going to be really challenging, but a positive challenge.

“The reality of being a professional athlete is that you’ve only got a small window to have these opportunities and I’d love to be sitting there in 20 or 30 years with my kids or grandkids, knowing that I left no stone unturned, and I took up this opportunity to better myself.”

Leinster, who reached the Champions Cup semi-finals on Saturday with a commanding display against La Rochelle, had confirmed a contract extension for hooker Dan Sheehan earlier on Monday.

‘A special place’

Barrett, whose brothers Beauden and Scott are also All Blacks, spent just over a year of his childhood in Ireland before the family returned to New Zealand.

“Ireland is a special place for the Barrett family,” he said.

“We’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 20 years ago is pretty cool.”

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen added: “The Barrett family have strong connections with Ireland and Leinster in particular, so it’s a sort of homecoming for Jordie.

“I’m sure all our supporters will be really excited to welcome one of the best players in the world and see up close what he brings to the team.”

Barrett has primarily played centre in recent years, although he did feature regularly at full-back earlier in his career.

Leinster can already call upon the likes of Irish internationals Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw and Hugo Keenan in those positions, but Cullen believes the new signing will add plenty to the playing group during his short stay.

“Jordie is a 50-plus cap All Black with an outstanding skillset who has been performing at the highest level of the game for multiple seasons now,” he said.

“He is keen to seek out a new experience at Leinster and I’m sure we will learn a lot from each other during his time with us.”

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