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All Blacks look to sibling duos to shine

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/11/2016 Angelo Risso
Julian Savea and Ardie Savea of the All Blacks © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images Julian Savea and Ardie Savea of the All Blacks

Saturday's clash with Ireland is shaping up to be something of a family affair for the All Blacks, with two sets of brothers in the same matchday 23.

Savea brothers Julian and Ardie have been an ever-present fixture in coach Steve Hansen's squads in 2016, making eight and nine Test appearances respectively.

But Saturday's match in Chicago will serve as a first for the Barrett family, with star first-five Beauden in the No.10 jumper and brother Scott in line for a debut off the bench.

The Taranaki pair will become the 45th pair of Kiwi brothers to pull on the black jumper.

The appearance of two sets of brothers in the same matchday squad is the first since 1961, when the legendary Meads siblings were joined by Don and Ian Clarke against France.

Scott Barrett (L) and brother Beauden Barrett (R) training with the All Blacks © Getty Images Scott Barrett (L) and brother Beauden Barrett (R) training with the All Blacks

"The opportunity to run out side by side, it's going to be a proud moment," Beauden said.

"Hopefully we both get the opportunity to be out there at once on Saturday, and it'd be pretty cool, the first time I've played with Scott."

Little brother Jordie will also be present in the Windy City, though from the stands as he serves his apprenticeship in the All Blacks camp.

Beauden, who convinced his brother to join the Hurricanes in 2017, said the 19-year-old utility had more than a few butterflies in his stomach on his first day.

Little brother Jordie Barrett © Getty Images Little brother Jordie Barrett "It was quite daunting for him and no doubt it still is, but he's got nothing to prove, he's just here to learn and physically develop," Beauden said.

"He's got a lot of time to train and get in the gym and learn from the best."

Beauden, who has dazzled in a near-flawless 2016 campaign for club and country, will take to Soldier Field on Saturday for his 29th appearance in all competitions.

The Taranaki native knows the Irish better than most, having lived in the rural town of Ballinacree for 18 months as a child.

"We taught the little school how to play rugby, it was all round ball, Gaelic or soccer back then," Beauden said.

New Zealand have never lost to Ireland, winning 27 Tests and drawing one since 1905.

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