A range of sports were mentioned as a relaxed Beauden Barrett sat before the media in Japan as the New Zealand team to play England in the World Cup semi-final was announced.
The former World Player of the Year is a keen golfer and with the ZOZO Championship taking place this week in Japan, he took a break from the semi-final preparations to take in the action at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.
There he met up with Rory McIlroy who shared his disappointment at last week’s result between the All Blacks and Ireland.
“He was in the crowd (at the quarter-final), he’s a proud Irishman”, said Barrett.
“He was complimentary of how we played, not too happy with the result obviously. It was good to have a chat, he’s a great down-to-earth guy.
“Obviously, I love golf and he loves rugby and still watches from the States so it was pretty cool to share some time with him.”
Last week was tough for Barrett and his brothers for an entirely different reason. Seven days before they took to the field for the quarter-final, the players’ grandfather, Edward, passed away aged 78.
Both Jordie and Beauden registered tries in the 46-14 rout of Joe Schmidt’s side and the victory brought a smile back to the face of their father, Kevin.
“Last week was a tough week for dad and for ourselves, so it was awesome to share that moment with him. He’s called ‘Smiley’ for a reason. That grin of his comes out quite often, it’s always good to see.
“He’s a proud dad. It was obviously a tough time. The team were awesome around supporting us and always giving us the option to head home if that’s what we needed to do.
“It’s awesome to have dad over here.”
All three brothers are expected to feature in Yokohama on Saturday with Scott and Beauden set to start while Jordie is named among the substitutes.
The 28-year-old is sharing a room with his younger brother Scott for the first time since 2002 and revealed that rugby is dominating the flanker’s thoughts, both day and night.
“He’s a bit bigger since the top bunk he slept in – he probably wouldn’t fit. I was on the bottom bunk back in 2002.
“It’s great to room with him, he’s clearly got his rugby head on because the other night he was sleep-talking and was calling out lineout moves. That was going through his head, that’s for sure.”
Given the talent that runs throughout the Barrett family, it’s no surprise that the brothers are very competitive amongst themselves when it comes to sport.
Luckily for them, their positions rarely overlap so competition is left off the pitch.
“We’re all pretty competitive. You’d probably find more rivalry on the back lawn at home in the summertime playing backyard cricket than you would in camp.
‘We all play in different positions so it’s hard to compare. Ultimately, we’re trying to do the best for our the team in our roles.”
As the press conference was drawing to a close, Barrett was asked about his relaxed style and playing a match with a smile on his face.
A World Cup semi-final against the most in-form team in the northern hemisphere must be a pressurised and daunting experience but Barrett is determined to enjoy every second.
“We have to remind ourselves before the game as the pressure comes on to take a moment to realise where you are, that you’re playing a game you love. Enjoying those moments is so important.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a game and we’re out there giving it our best and hopefully having fun doing so.”