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By Sam Smith for Rugbypass.com
Beauden Barrett’s move from the Hurricanes to the Blues has been hailed as one of the greatest hits in Super Rugby history, but it has left many Hurricanes fans unhappy that their main playmaker has “turned his back” to the team.
While the Hurricanes had other standout talents in their books, including All Blacks TJ Perenara, Ardie Savea and Ngani Laumape, Barret was the team’s superstar and the man the team sort of had to hang around with. built since 2016.
At the time, Barrett explained that the decision to move to the Blues was a holistic one, based on what was best for his young family.
“It’s a big step to sign anywhere for four years. I knew I wasn’t ready to go off and I know I have a lot left in the tank and a lot to give to rugby New Zealanders, ”he said. “We worked from there and determined what would be the best thing for me, my family and for my rugby.”
This explanation did not necessarily appease the passionate Hurricanes supporters in Wellington, however. Speaking on the latest episode of James Marshall Which boy podcast, Barrett provided additional insight into the move – which could ease the pain of the many fans still lamenting their star player’s move north.
Marshall, a former Barrett teammate, revealed that the All Blacks discussed the potential change when the pair cohabited in Johanessburg.
“I remember this movement very well,” he said. “I remember living with you in Jo’burg, South Africa when you first mentioned it and told me about the situation. I remember how difficult it was for you.”
“It was very difficult,” Barrett replied.
“Leaving a club where you’ve played 120 games, things like your dad played for the club, your brother plays for the club, a team you’ve admired and adored all your life, watching the greats play – Cully, Tana, and so on – but probably plus the teammates, bonds, and friendships you’ve made and enjoy, [they’re a] big reason why you play soccer. It was probably the hardest thing. “
Despite Barrett’s close bond with the Hurricanes, the top five admitted that after nine years with the team, he was starting to get too used to the same routine week after week.
“I was starting to miss the same, the same environment a bit,” he said. “It got a bit repetitive for me and I needed some kind of a change or a boost if I was going to stay in New Zealand and play for the All Blacks and not go offshore for good and play the football.”
He also explained the many reasons external to rugby that were behind this decision.
“It was also a personal family decision. We thought, look, we’re going to end up living in Auckland at some point, Wellington isn’t home. I’m a Naki boy. My wife and I met in 2013 she was studying [in Wellington]. So we had a good stint there together and we felt it was time.
“I wanted to move to Auckland while playing and make that transition while playing because I wanted to challenge myself in a different environment, stimulate myself to eventually become a better All Black and a better game for New Zealand. Once again, I didn’t want to go overseas at this point. And it’s obviously Hannah’s house, it was always going to be our future home, so that was a deciding factor.
“I love living in Auckland. It’s great to have the support of Hannah’s family, family and friends. She also has a lot to offer. And I go out my barbecue five nights a week instead. once a year. There were so many. different factors but it ultimately boiled down to a quality of life. [decision], like I’m living the best life possible? Because yes, rugby is important, but I can still play rugby and have the best family life we can have in Auckland, so I thought that ticked so many boxes. “
Barrett’s four-year contract with the Blues included the option to take a sabbatical – which he exercised during the current Super Rugby season while playing for Suntory Sungoliath in Japan.
Suntory was beaten by Robbie Deans’ Panasonic Wild Knights in the Top League final at the end of last month and Barrett has since returned to New Zealand and is available to play for the national team in their upcoming matches. with Tonga and Fiji.