ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Apr 17, 2024

How Jordie Barrett could fit into the Leinster system

It was supposed to be a standard Monday. There wasn’t supposed to be any big news. The minds of Leinster fans weren’t supposed to be blown. The hearts of Munster, Ulster and Connaught fans weren’t supposed to have been broken. But, sport is unpredictable. Leinster are now supposed to win everything next season, but whether they will or not remains to be seen.

ADVERTISEMENT

Before Leinster fans or otherwise can get too ahead of themselves, however, there needs to be the question answered:

How does Jordie Barrett fit into the Leinster team?

For starters, the backline is already thicker than an Irish stew – except instead of potatoes, onions and sheep meat, it consists from surface to surface full of international talent. So to break apart a combination that has proven to work so wonderfully for so many years could well be a detriment to itself, especially when considering the arrival of Barrett is set to last just six months…

So, what does Leinster head coach Leo Cullen do? Does he look at Barrett as the most high-profile super-sub the world of rugby has ever seen, or does he upset the apple cart by introducing him into the starting foray?

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 20: The MASTERCARD Player of the Match, Jordie Barrett of New Zealand, is presented with a Trophy by Dan Carter, former New Zealand rugby player, after the Rugby World Cup France 2023 semi-final match between Argentina and New Zealand at Stade de France on October 20, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Ramos – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Let’s have a look at the options.

Jordie Barrett Super-Sub

When Leinster announced they were signing Jordie Barrett from the Hurricanes on a short term deal, nobody would have thought “what a great sub he would make”. The question that people have been asking is, “who is he replacing?” and for other teams, “what’s the f***ing point?”

Well, maybe the super sub option is exactly what the modern game of rugby is screaming out for – the ringer to steal the game in the final 30.

Known for his impeccable handling and kicking skills, as well as his ability to read the game like very few others, Jordie Barrett is arguably one of the most diverse players in the modern game, boasting an ability to step into any position with immense confidence and control.

ADVERTISEMENT

His highly impressive skill sets could provide an entirely different dynamic for the Leinster gameplan. Cullen could take a leaf out of Rassie Erasmus’ highly obscure tactics book and introduce a 6-2 bench split, with Barrett able to provide game changing cover from all positions.

Jordie Barrett Super-Centre

The famous Henshaw-Ringrose combination has been unrivalled in Irish rugby for the the best part of a decade now, but for the first time in their senior careers, their club partnership faces a new, serious, challenge. Whilst Barrett isn’t coming into the squad to deliberately cause disruption amongst the stars of the Leinster backline, it is now unavoildable.

The clear swap in this situation would be at 12, Barrett for Henshaw. Warmly nicknamed “Old Man Bob Henshaw”, the Irish centre is facing the prospect of turning the grand old age of 31 by the time his new mate Jordie turns up in Dublin midway through next season.

Whilst he is arguably still in the prime of rugby playing life, the Irish international has found himself threatened more now on selection than he has done in the previous 8 years of his life. Losing his international space to an older player in Bundee Aki would have come as a crushing blow to a man who has always been seen as the number one, so with Barrett soon to be heading over on the 26-hour flight from Wellington, the thought of keeping his place could well grind the back of his mind.

Facing a threat on two fronts, Henshaw also has to be aware of the talented youngsters now coming through the Leinster system, specifically brothers, Jamie and Andrew Osbourne who are both hot on the heels of the Athlone man.

ADVERTISEMENT

But one threat at a time – Jordie Barrett has been the All Black’s number one choice at inside centre now for a couple of years, with his quality distribution and kicking game being touted as the main factors for his dominance in the position. It has been suggested by many that Barrett, in this space of time, is the greatest 12 in the game, making his exclusion from the starting team an almost unthinkable act.

This would leave Henshaw and Ringrose to fight it out over the 13 shirt. Ringrose’s has extensive experience in the position would  most likely result in a Barrett/Ringrose split with Henshaw providing cover from the bench.

Jordie Barrett Super-Safe-Fullback

The most unlikely of all scenarios, especially considering Barrett no longer classes himself as a fullback, and the minor point that Ireland’s premier 15 currently occupies the position, would be to stick the 27-year-old at the back. There is no denying, however, that should Barrett be required as injury cover, or simply chosen ahead of Keenan, that he would provide a very comprehensive cover.

Comments




Related Articles

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Bristol Bears break 20-year record with victory...

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    All Blacks star Jordie Barrett discusses...

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Gloucester's next 'Rees-Zammit' scores incredible...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    The dummy that sold the whole of Perth - including the cameraman

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Bayonne score 'one of the best tries you'll ever see' in latest match against Exeter

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Baloucoune shows Andy Farrell what he's missing as the winger tears through Harlequins defence

  • 29 WEEKS AGO

    Seriously impressive Courtney Lawes compilation released after England player calls time on international career

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Danny care binned for high tackle on Courtney Lawes

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Debate rages on after Maro Itoje sent to bin for high shot

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Fiji Drua player Lomani slapped with ban following elbow attack

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    The sending off that rocked the Six Nations opener

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Danny care binned for high tackle on Courtney Lawes

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Wild start at Twickenham as Quins pull off another wonder-try

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face France in thrilling encounter

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    '60 metres, plus change' - massive drop goal stuns fans

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Referee makes 'tackle of the season' as he gets too close to the action

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Nick David unexpectedly shows up to semi final in full kit

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The worst camera angle in rugby history

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Louis Rees-Zammit's real reason for NFL move exposed

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    George Ford falls victim to the kickers curse

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Awesome scenes as Blitzbok fan throws down at the HSBC SVNS

View All

Amateur

  • 71 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 71 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations Player of The Championship

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Mack Hansen breaks down over ‘lack of craic’ in comedy skit

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Harlequins make giant new signing

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Nick David unexpectedly shows up to semi final in full kit

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Billy Vunipola releases statement following arrest

View All