All Black centre Jordie Barrett to join Leinster on a short term deal in December as club announce stunning signing

Leinster have sealed a stunning transfer coup after announcing that All Black centre Jordie Barrett will join them in December, until the end of next season.

The 27-year-old veteran of 57 Tests is widely considered one of the best backs in the game and as part of a new contract with New Zealand Rugby, he has exercised the option to take a sabbatical. 

He will spend around six months in Dublin – joining the Irish capital-city province after the All Blacks’ tour of Europe later this year.

News of the deal has prompted widespread shock and awe. It is a formidable statement by Leinster about their intention to remain one of the primary forces in northern hemisphere club rugby. 

They are already near-invincible at home and perennial challengers for the Champions Cup and United Rugby Championship titles, but the addition of one of the revered Barrett brothers will add further pedigree to their glittering squad full of Test talent.

Leinster have sealed a stunning transfer coup after announcing Jordie Barrett will join them

While many leading All Blacks choose to head to Japan for their sabbaticals, Jordie Barrett has opted to retrace family steps, after a spell living in Ireland back in 2000. 

He is enthused by the chance to further develop his game in Leinster’s highly-regarded set-up, with input from new senior coach Jacques Nienaber – who guided South Africa to World Cup glory before moving to Dublin.

‘It’s going to be a great place for me to develop as a player, in a different environment where I’ll learn so many different things,’ he said. 

‘I think this move is going to be really challenging – but a positive challenge. Heading north to different conditions, different teams, different referees; I think it will open my game up, make me see the game differently and ultimately bring the best bits back to New Zealand rugby and into the Test jersey, ideally, at the end of it.’

On the personal dimension, Jordie – who plays for New Zealand alongside brothers Beauden and Scott – added: ‘Ireland is a special place for the Barrett family. We’ve got so many great family connections in Oldcastle, in County Meath and throughout Dublin. To have an opportunity to go back and meet some family and friends and connections that were made 20 years ago is pretty cool.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen heralded the eye-catching recruitment for Leinster, saying: ‘We’re delighted that Jordie has agreed to join us after New Zealand’s tour – especially as he has chosen Leinster ahead of a number of other very attractive options. I’m sure our supporters will be really excited to welcome one of the best players in the world.

‘Jordie is a fifty-plus cap All Black with an outstanding skill-set who has been performing at the highest level of the game for multiple seasons now. He is keen to seek out a new experience at Leinster and I’m sure we will learn a lot from each other.’

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