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Wednesday Mar 6, 2024

All Blacks star laments lack of South African teams in Super Rugby

All Blacks utility back Jordie Barrett is becoming what is now a rare breed of New Zealand rugby player as someone who travelled to South Africa to play Super Rugby.

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Now approaching four years since the South Africans left Super Rugby to join the United Rugby Championship, Barrett feels the Southern Hemisphere’s premier provincial competition is missing their South African contingent.

“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,” Barrett explained.

“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.”

The 27-year-old is the youngest of four rugby playing brothers, three of whom played in the 2023 Rugby World Cup final. Lining up at inside centre against the Springboks, Jordie was joined by secondrow Scott and fullback Beauden in the All Blacks starting XV.

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