Brothers Beauden, Scott and Jordie Barrett have revealed that they were granted compassionate leave after their grandfather Ted passed away a week before their victory over Ireland.
The All Blacks brothers, who are all set to feature during their semi-final against England on Saturday, were given the option of returning home prior to their quarter-final against the Irish after the sad news.
Despite the circumstances, all three played key roles in the dominant victory, with Jordie and Beauden both contributing tries at the Tokyo Stadium.
Kevin ‘Smiley’ Barrett, the father of the Barrett boys and former Hurricanes loose forward, watched on proudly as his sons helped send Ireland crashing out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage yet again.
‘Last week was a tough week for him and for us, so it was awesome to share that moment with him,’ said Beauden of his dad.
‘It was obviously a tough time. Gilbert Enoka [All Blacks mental skills coach] was great in that space and the team were awesome around supporting us and always giving us the option to head home if that was what we needed to do.’
Beauden, who has been rooming together with Scott for the first time since they were kids, says his younger brother definitely has rugby on his mind ahead of the crunch clash with England.
‘He’s clearly got his rugby head on because the other night he was sleep-talking and was calling out lineout moves. That was going through his head, that’s for sure,’ joked Beauden.
Younger brother Jordie, who will provide cover from the replacements bench for the back three, said that their dad was likely to give Scott some tips for when he features on the side of the scrum against England.
‘I’m sure he’ll give his 10 cents worth over the next couple of days,’ said Jordie. ‘As long as he doesn’t follow some of Dad’s tactics from ’98 … you probably can’t get away with it now.’
‘We’re all pretty competitive,’ said Beauden when questioned about sibling rivalry.
‘You’ll probably find more rivalry on the back lawn at home at summer time in backyard cricket that you would in camp. We all play a different position, so it’s hard to compare. Ultimately we’re just trying to do what’s best for the team in our own roles.’
Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Getty Images