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Nicknames, place-kicks and nerves: Beauden and Jordie start together

20-year-old Jordie Barrett makes his first All Blacks start alongside his brother.

Murray Kinsella reports from Auckland

THERE IS A subtle contrast between the Barrett brothers, Beauden and Jordie, as they sit alongside each other in the All Blacks’ team hotel to be interviewed about starting a Test match together for the first time.

And so there should be, given that they are at such different stages of their careers.

New Zealand v Samoa - June International Test - Eden Park Scott, Jordie and Beauden are all involved on Saturday. Source: David Davies

Steve Hansen has named 20-year-old Jordie at fullback for the final Test against the Lions on Saturday [KO 8.35am Irish time, Sky Sports], while Beauden takes his usual slot in the 10 shirt.

With a third brother, Scott, on the Kiwis’ bench for the Eden Park clash, it will be a proud day for the Barrett family.

Beauden already has 52 caps under his belt and is the reigning World Rugby Player of the Year.

Even though some in the Kiwi media have suggested the 26-year-old needs to grab hold of this third Test in a way that he hasn’t managed to do in the first two, he exudes confidence as he sits with his arms crossed, a slight smile on his face even before the questions begin.

Jordie, almost four inches taller than Beauden at 6’5″, pops himself into the chair beside his brother and it’s clear that he has yet to become fully at ease in front of the media, a hint of nerves in his eyes as the questions start rolling in.

Only just out of his teens, Jordie will get used to the media but All Blacks boss Hansen has little doubt about the Hurricanes man’s composure out on the pitch.

“He comes from fairly good stock and is a calm and confident sort of bloke,” is how Hansen puts it. “We would not have picked him if we didn’t think he could go out there and play. Whatever happens on Saturday night, he’s only going to get better and better.”

Beauden has already been in the same All Blacks squad as Jordie, but he was already off the pitch when his younger brother made his Test debut from the bench in last month’s big win over Samoa.

Jordie, Scott and Beauden Barrett with their parents Kevin and Robyn Barrett The Barrett boys with parents, Kevin and Robyn. Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Beauden says it’s “weird” to be sitting beside his little brother before they play together in Test rugby, although their combination for the Hurricanes this season has been devastating at times.

“I don’t know if I have given him any advice,” says Beauden. “He doesn’t need it, he trained very well on Tuesday and I think with the outside backs in their little group they have been communicating really well and have been working well as a combination and the coaches have been great this week.

“You don’t want to put too much in a young fella’s head because you want him to go out there and play footie and he is good enough to do it – that is why he has been picked this week.”

Interestingly, Jordie has been the Hurricanes’ place-kicker ahead of Beauden at times this season and there has already been a suggestion that the younger Barrett will take over duties off the tee this weekend.

“We will have a comp this afternoon and see what happens,” says Beauden with a laugh, although Hansen seems a little more certain that it will be the established out-half who retains the responsibility.

“It’s a good question but we haven’t asked either one of them who wants to do it,” says Hansen. “I think they both want to do it and usually when there’s two brothers, the older brother gets to go first. So that will probably be the case.”

While Beauden insists that Jordie can take care of himself, there will be some degree of comfort for him to have his older brother on the pitch, particularly given how well they have read each other for the Canes.

The presence of family will also make this week’s build-up easier for Jordie, given how close he is to his two older brothers.

Beauden Barrett Hansen says Beauden is likely to retain the tee. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“They have got their own gags and nicknames for each other, and I heard one this morning,” says Hansen. ”I said to ‘Beauden, ‘What do you call your brother that for?’

“He said ‘Well, that’s the guy out of Dumb and Dumber’.”

So the question is put to Beauden shortly after.

“It’s an old nickname but it came out this morning,” says Beauden. “He [Hansen] said ‘What’s that?’ and I said ‘Lloyd’.

“It is not Jordie’s, it is obviously Scott’s.”

Lloyd being Lloyd Christmas, as played by Jim Carrey in the Dumb and Dumber movie.

Last month had seen Beauden revealing that he called Jordie ‘Udon,’ after the type of noodle and in reference to the youngest brother’s lanky frame.

Presented with the opportunity for a little revenge, Jordie kept Beauden’s nickname a secret for now.

“I don’t call him anything differently as there would be repercussions if I called him something else, so I will just stick with Beauden or Beaudy.”

While he may still be a little timid off the pitch, the All Blacks are backing Jordie to make a confident impact at Eden Park on Saturday.

Up in the stands will be their parents, Kevin and Robyn, watching on with pride and a fair few nerves.

“How’s she feeling?” says Beauden when asked about their mother. “She’ll be pretty nervous. They’ll be up again this weekend, nervously excited, as usual.”

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