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The Roar


All Blacks star signs surprise short-term deal with Irish heavyweights

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16th April, 2024
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All Blacks star Jordie Barrett has announced a sabbatical to play with Irish club Leinster at year’s end, while committing his future to New Zealand past the 2027 World Cup.

Centre Barrett, 27, will join up with the Dublin-based powerhouse club for their 2024-25 season.

His deal to play in Ireland follows a similar move by his father, Kevin, who took the Barretts to the Emerald Isle to play for the Athlone-based Buccaneers in 2000.

“It’s a special place for the Barrett family,” Jordie Barrett said.

“We’ve got so many great family connections in Oldcastle, in County Meath and throughout Dublin.

“To have an opportunity to go back and meet some family and friends and connections that were made twenty years ago is pretty cool.”


All Blacks star Jordie Barrett has signed a short-term deal with Leinster. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The versatile back will make the move after the All Blacks’ northern tour, which includes Tests against England, Ireland, France and Italy.

He will skip Super Rugby in 2025 to make the move, leaving the Hurricanes, who are currently unbeaten on top of the 2024 standings.

“The Hurricanes are sending me off with their best wishes and are very excited which is awesome,” he said.

Barrett is the latest All Black star to take time away from the domestic game following New Zealand’s gutting one-point loss in the 2023 World Cup final.

While Barrett now has a deal to 2028, which takes in All Blacks, Hurricanes and home province Taranaki duties, others have chosen to move on.

Veterans Dane Coles, Brodie Retallick, Aaron Smith and Sam Whitelock have all retired – either completely or internationally – while Richie Mo’unga, Shannon Frizell, Leicester Fainga’anuku and Nepo Laulala have taken up club contracts abroard.


All Blacks stars Beauden and Jordie Barrett, Richie Mo’unga and Damian McKenzie will have all spent time away from New Zealand in a sign of the times. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett have Japanese deals this year, but like Jordie Barrett, have re-signed with NZ Rugby to return in an All Blacks shirt.

In a highly controversial move, NZ Rugby had already announced coach Ian Foster would be replaced by Scott Robertson – a seven-time champion coach of the Crusaders – prior to the 2023 World Cup.

Robertson will lead the All Blacks for the first time in July, when England visit for a two-Test series.