Why All Blacks star trained with NRL side

Publish Date
Friday, 24 March 2023, 7:19AM

It’s an image that may have shocked All Blacks and Hurricanes fans this week - Jordie Barrett wearing a Melbourne Storm kit standing next to NRL supercoach Craig Bellamy.

The All Blacks midfielder and fullback spent the week training with the four time NRL champions as well as AFL side the Richmond Tigers during a week off from Super Rugby Pacific duties.

Barrett said it came about after meeting with Storm’s GM of Football Frank Ponissi during the end of year tour last year. Members of the All Blacks squad need to be rested at some point during the Super Rugby Pacific season as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup later in the year.

Barrett spent his time upskilling and learning from different codes.

“It’s been great to have a week with the Storm. I met with Frank Ponissi last year in Scotland for a meeting and tried to plot a way to expose myself to a different environment and learn a few things. You don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve got a rest week this week but I thought it’d be a great time to further my footy career by applying myself in another environment.

“Spent a day at Richmond Football Club on Monday and the rest of the week with the Storm so it’s been great.

“There’s a few good boys here. A couple of Kiwis. Jahrome [Hughes] has picked me up every morning for training. It’s been good. Learning a few things and hopefully I can take them back into rugby union and better myself.

“I was just trying to be a fly on the wall and see how these guys prepare.”

Barrett is expected to return in Hurricanes colours against the Force next Sunday.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission

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