All Black star Beauden Barrett has fond memories of playing GAA in Meath

Apart from getting scolded for taking his shoes off.

Image: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Sean Farrell reports from Chicago

ALL BLACK OUT-HALF Beauden Barrett doesn’t need much time to dig through his memory bank for fond memories of his stint in Ireland.

The Hurricanes playmaker – along with brothers Scott and Jordie, also part of the All Black touring party this month – lived in the Meath town of Ballinacree for a stint from 1999 when his father Kevin was in this part of the world to manage a dairy farm.

“I loved it. We taught the little school in Ballinacree how to play rugby. It was all round ball, gaelic or soccer back then,” the New Zealand star said after being named in the side to face Ireland on Saturday.

“I remember getting told off the first day of school for taking my shoes off because it was cold. That was something I wasn’t used to.”

Barrett also revealed how he hasn’t allowed the gaelic football skills picked up on the fields of St Brigid’s GAA club to slip away. Asked if he had kicked an O’Neill’s ball since those formative times in the Royal county, Barrett said:

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“I have actually. I just kick it around the backyard a bit.

“It’s a sport I enjoyed playing over there and a lot of the skill-sets are quite similar to rugby.”

Raising All Blacks: Superstar Barrett’s farm life and a stint in Meath

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Sean Farrell

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