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Scott Barrett boosts Taranaki family ties

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/04/2017

All Blacks lock Scott Barrett is shifting provincial allegiance from Canterbury to Taranaki, joining his high-profile brothers.

The four-Test forward will link with Hurricanes backs Beauden and Jordie Barrett in returning to the province where he was born and raised.

The 23-year-old shifted south in 2014 to study and has played 19 NPC games across three seasons, helping Canterbury win the last two titles.

He is also in the middle of a third Super Rugby campaign with the Crusaders.

Nearing the end of a Bachelor of Agriculture degree at Lincoln University, Barrett thought hard before signing a two-year contract with the Amber and Blacks.

"I'm really excited at the prospect of playing for Taranaki, it's something I've always wanted to do," Barrett said.

"I have strong family connections with Taranaki rugby and grew up watching dad (Kevin) play for the province so it's very special - we're proud Taranaki people."

The move comes four months after utility back Jordie also left Canterbury on a two-season deal while world player of the year Beauden recommitted last August.

All three attended Francis Douglas Memorial College, along with brother Kane, who played as a flanker for Auckland and the Blues.

A Taranaki Rugby Football Union release on Friday made no mention of Scott Barrett's Super Rugby intentions beyond this year.

Taranaki coach Colin Cooper, who will take charge of the Chiefs next season, said Barrett's inclusion would be a huge confidence boost for the Taranaki region.

"As an All Black he's a player who could go anywhere, so for him to choose to come home and play for Taranaki is immense," Cooper said.

Taranaki won the 2014 NPC Premiership title and have been beaten semi-finalists in the two seasons since.

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