All Blacks: Jordie Barrett keen to kick on at 12 after superb 2022 season

David Skippers
Jordie Barrett All Blacks training 2022 - PA.jpg

Jordie Barrett in All Blacks training.

After shining on New Zealand’s 2022 end-of-year tour at inside centre, utility back Jordie Barrett has revealed that he is fully focused on improving in the position ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

Despite impressing mostly at full-back for the All Blacks in recent years, Barrett shone at inside centre in the Autumn Nations Series Tests against Wales and England and also delivered a solid display in the number 15 jersey against Scotland.

Future lies at inside centre

His outstanding performances at inside centre led to All Blacks head coach Ian Foster confirming to him that his Test future probably lies in the midfield and Barrett is determined to make New Zealand’s number 12 jersey his own.

“Fozzie indicated he enjoyed me playing there,” Barrett told Stuff. “So I guess the rest is up to me to just keep playing well, and put myself into that position every week.”

Apart from Barrett, Foster can also play Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jack Goodhue, who is returning from a serious knee injury, at inside centre, which means there will be plenty of competition for a starting berth this year.

Barrett is the favourite for that position though and will be looking to cement his place in the All Blacks’ starting line-up by delivering excellent performances for the Hurricanes during this year’s Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

At 1.96m in height and weighing about 96kg, the 25-year-old is a strong ball carrier but also has a good offloading game and he is sure to test the tightest defences with his skill-set.

His bulk and reach means he is also solid in the tackle although he knows that his height could cause problems if he goes in to high against smaller ball carriers.

Despite his superb form from 2022, the 48-Test All Black is still hungry to learn and said he is keen to gather advice from Hurricanes boss Jason Holland, and backline coaches Tyler Bleyendaal and Cory Jane as well as an old mentor from his schoolboy days in Taranaki.

“Within these Hurricanes walls there’s so many guys I can call on, and then outside of the environment I use Tim Stuck who was my 1st XV coach at Francis Douglas Memorial College,” said Barrett.

“I am always sending him clips, and he is feeding back. I am always trying to evolve and get better each week.”

Always looking to improve

Despite playing in midfield during his high school days and for Canterbury, who he represented for a short period during his early days a professional, Barrett is always looking to improve his game.

“Yeah, for sure. I am always trying to evolve my game and no-one is ever the finished product. I am very much new, I guess, to 12 at this sort of level and it does take a little bit of adjusting,” he added.

“Especially little movements and timings to that were so different to 15. You have to have your finger on the pulse on both sides of the ball.”

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