Jordie Barrett reflects on 100 games with the Hurricanes

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Growing up, he always wanted to play for the Hurricanes through the connection of his father, Kevin, first up, and then brother, Beauden.

The Hurricanes had done a lot for him, and he is proud to have played 100 games for them.

He said he would have been happy to have played only one game for them if that worked out.

But, he said, if his 27-year-old body could stay on the park, he hoped to add more numbers in the future.

Barrett acknowledged the role former All Black Cory Jane had played in his development, primarily through the early years, and said that older brother Beauden was in the Hurricanes then.

He said he came into the Hurricanes environment the year after they had won their Super Rugby title in 2016 and had been 'keen, green and naive'.

"We've had our frustrations throughout my career where we haven't got past quarter or semifinals. But, I've got a positive outlook and we've got a great group this year. I'm proud to be a Hurricane and, hopefully, we can put ourselves in a position this year where we can give ourselves an opportunity."

Barrett is one of a diminishing group of players who have experienced all the changes that have occurred in the shape of Super Rugby, most notably the South African and Argentine connections.

He had reflected on it recently and recalled it as 'a unique and super special experience as 18-19-20-year-old kids to be able to play against the South Africans.'

"To be able to go to South Africa and play against the South African sides on a two or three-week tour, they were the best times of your life almost, and we miss going to South Africa, for sure."

Not having regular contact impacts preparations to play them in Tests.

"You play them at Johannesburg or any of those formidable South African stadiums, and you've got a challenge of big physical forward packs. In some ways you can learn lessons as a young kid before you make it to Test level that you can apply when you land a spot.

"You do miss a lot of growth and learning at that age and I'm grateful I got a taste of that before we lost them."

Barrett said that if he had the chance to tell himself as a young player what he has learned now he has played 100 games, it would be that as a 19 or 20-year-old, you don't know it all.

"In fact, you know bugger all at that age. So, calling on as much as you can out of your coaches and senior players is vital and, in some ways, you can progress and grow a lot quicker than some might if they are not open to that."

Barrett first made a mark at fullback when appearing on the scene, initially for Canterbury but then for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. He said that was probably because he was 'a bit skinny with no size on.'

But he always hankered to return to the midfield, which was all he knew when he played his school rugby for Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth and the New Zealand Under-19s.

"It was always in the back of my mind, but I never really had the tools to play Super Rugby or anything at that level early on as a mid-fielder, so it has been a natural progression.

I've found my feet now and enjoy settling in at 12 [second five-eighths]. I am happy with where things are at the moment, but ask any footy player, and there are always things to work on.

"There are always skills that require a little more work and the idiosyncrasies of playing 12. There are so many parts of the game where you can add more strings to your bow, so that's been refreshing for me.

Watch Jordie Barrett's 100-match celebration ceremony on NZR+


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