Jordie Barrett reveals All Blacks boss Scott Robertson’s reaction to surprise Leinster move

Colin Newboult
Jordie Barrett alongside All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson.

Jordie Barrett alongside All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson.

Jordie Barrett said that new All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson ‘understood’ the reasons for his short-term move to Europe.

The centre has signed a six-month deal with Leinster and will join the Irish province in December 2024 after New Zealand’s end-of-year tour.

Barrett decided against going down the well-trodden path of taking his sabbatical in Japan and instead opted to try his hand in the United Rugby Championship and Champions Cup.


The 27-year-old revealed that he discussed the move with Robertson and of course New Zealand Rugby, who have extended his deal until the end of 2028.

“Razor was really good and really understanding and saw it through my eyes,” he told Newstalk ZB. “Not many players go to Europe for their sabbatical so it was a different sort of discussion, but I’m grateful Razor and NZR agreed and put a plan in place for me.”

Barrett is looking to refresh mentally and improve as a player during his time at Leinster as he focuses his attention on being at his best for the next Rugby World Cup.

The 2023 global tournament ended in agonising fashion for the All Blacks after they succumbed 12-11 to the Springboks, which means that he and New Zealand have unfinished business in 2027.

“Carrying a little bit of hurt from the last World Cup, it’s motivating me and a lot of other boys to have a really good few years and set ourselves up to hopefully go one better in a few years’ time,” Barrett said.

“It’s an interesting transition with new coaches and a lot of new players but I think it’s an exciting time for New Zealand rugby, and one I wanted to be part of.”

‘Money a serious component’ – All Black Jordie Barrett confirms ‘top’ reasons for Leinster move

More stars at Leinster

Barrett’s signing will make Leinster, whose side is stacked with Ireland internationals, an even more fearsome proposition next season.

“I feel like I should be playing some of my best rugby there,” the centre said. “The challenge of playing Champions Cup and URC finals is something I’d love to work towards and feel like it’d grow my game.”

Fatigue may be a concern since he will likely be playing non-stop for 16 months, but Barrett believes that he will be able to find some time off to recover.

“There’s a big block in February-March [during the Six Nations] where I won’t be playing any rugby. Essentially that’s going to be my big break,” he added.

“It looks as though I’m just going rugby to rugby and there’s no break there, but I’ll be managed throughout the season.”

READ MORE: ‘He could have earned more’ – Jordie Barrett rejected lucrative offers to join Leinster