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Barretts think about Samoa before the Lions

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Lynn McConnell     12 Jun 2017     Getty Images

First five-eighths Beauden Barrett said the game would be a good one for the All Blacks and they need to be prepared because they knew what was coming in terms of physicality and passion from Samoa after their game in Apia two years ago.

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The most important aspect of the game was not to be thinking about the Lions, he said.

"It is us versus Samoa and that's 100 percent our focus right now. Getting together as quick as we can and putting a performance out there to start off the 2017 year," he said.

Barrett was joined in the press conference by brothers and teammates Scott and Jordie.

He said having family in the side didn't change anything in the preparation and playing. It was refreshing to have family there for the down time, but in the match situation, the entire 23 were brothers and they could all have the hard conversations if needed, he said.

He said that trio had never dreamed they would ever appear in an All Blacks team together, and, in fact, have never played in the same team together at any level.

He explained Udon (skinny white noodle) was Jordie's new nickname. It had previously been Bub because he was the youngest boy in the family.

Having advanced from the apprentice status he had on last year's end-of-season tour Jordie Barrett said the squad had a bit of a different feel to it.

"I'm certainly a little more on edge this time coming into camp. Of course, [last year] I wasn't able to be selected but there is a different feeling. There's a big month coming up and I think everyone is aware how special this time is."
Scott Barrett said their father Kevin was 'pretty stoked'. He had realised last year with three boys in the side he was over the moon.

Beauden said it was a common statement that all the ability came from their mother.

"Mum was a pretty talented athlete herself so people say the speed comes from Mum and I guess the size and the work rate comes from Dad. Dad was always a forward in the forward pack so we probably got our flair from Mum," he said.

Jordie said he thought most people said it was from his mother just to wind their father up and to see his reaction.

Their parents were now in a position having worked hard to develop their farm to employ a relief milker on each farm to be able to get out and watch their sons in action.

Beauden said some of the work ethic the brothers had was down to the fact that when living on a farm it was evident there were countless hours that could be spent working, and there was always work to be done.

"We always saw Mum and Dad doing that then coming home and cooking us dinner and getting us ready for school and all that sort of stuff so if you relate that to your rugby it's always striving to be better and trying to be the best you can be and that is endless. So we probably did learn a lot from growing up on a farm in a rural area," he said.

Beauden said he could remember the Wellington Test of the 2005 tour and the way in which fellow first five-eighths Dan Carter had set a huge standard in that Lions series.

In the backyard games they played as boys, Jordie recalled for him it had been mostly about wanting to keep up with his brothers, and the games had been mainly cricket.

"In rugby games I was often in tears most of the time and couldn't really participate but it has been good just trying to reach these guys," he said.

Beauden said he had enjoyed watching Jordie find his feet with the Hurricanes after his season with Canterbury last year. And he enjoyed being able to link with him in games and that was something that could only get better with time.

Jordie said having seen Beauden make the All Blacks and perform so well while he and Scott were still at high school had given them something to strive for.

Scott said having watched the Crusaders game on Saturday night that being a dewy night the Lions had played the conditions better and had taken their chances. They had come under pressure from the Lions' line speed and there has been a couple of things around the set-piece the Crusaders didn't quite get right.

Beauden said he rated Lions five-eighths Owen Farrell very highly. He said he couldn't speak highly enough of him. He was a sound performer at Test level and he had played against at Under-20 level as well.

"If we get that opportunity to play against him I'm sure it will be a good match-up," he said.

Regarding the Lions' line speed, it was similar to how the Hurricanes played and they trained against it each day so they had some ideas of how to beat it.