Beauden Barrett is arguably the best player in the world right now.
The All Blacks playmaker has taken over from the mercurial Dan Carter with ease and has made the All Blacks ten jersey his own. But did you know, Barrett once honed his skills on a GAA pitch?
As a child, Beauden Barrett — along with his brothers Kane and Scott — played Gaelic football with both St. Brigid’s GAA club and St. Fiach’s National School in the town of Ballinacree.
How did the superstar from Taranaki end up playing U10 football in Co Meath you ask?
“Beauden’s father and mother — Kevin and Robyn — came over here to live in Ballinacree in Autumn 1999,” family friend Barney Tighe told The42
“They were managing a dairy farm and Kevin was playing with the Buccaneers in Athlone. He had finished his career with Taranaki at that stage and they came over to experience Ireland and it was an opportunity to play rugby and work in a different country.
“The kids — there were five of them at the time — they went to school in St Fiach’s National School and played Gaelic football there and with the St. Brigid’s club in the town.”
Another Ballinacree resident told The42 that young ‘Beaudy’ played his football in his bare feet. Tighe says he doesn’t remember the specifics but it wouldn’t surprise him.
“They certainly used to spend a lot of time in our house because we had kids the same age and during the summer the Barretts used to tip across the field on lots of occasions in their bare feet.
“A lot of the time they’d be here for the mashed potatoes, they couldn’t get enough of them, it was their favourite meal.
“Beaudy in particular adapted to Gaelic football extremely well. There were three of them on the U10 team with Scott and Kane playing too. They were very popular in the community and great athletes altogether. We’ve great memories of them.”
Now there you have it. The secret to becoming one of the best rugby player’s in the world- try your hand at a bit of GAA first. [The42.ie]