Rugby: Jordie Barrett not hiding from hurt of World Cup final defeat, channels pain into Hurricanes' new season

Nearly three months on from the All Blacks' heartbreaking 12-11 Rugby World Cup final loss, Jordie Barrett isn't hiding from the hurt he feels from falling at the final hurdle.  

After an indifferent four years, the All Blacks stunned many in even reaching the decider at Stade de France, but had to settle for silver, as the Springboks claimed the Webb Ellis Cup for a record fourth time.

While it would be unfair to pinpoint one moment for the loss, Barrett, 26, could be forgiven for holding himself responsible. In the final 10 minutes, he missed a long-range penalty that would have taken New Zealand ahead for the first time in the match. 

Jordie Barrett in the Rugby World Cup final.
Jordie Barrett in the Rugby World Cup final. Photo credit: Getty Images

Had it been successful, the All Blacks could be the most decorated team in men's rugby history, not the Springboks.  

Barrett and his teammates who returned to New Zealand after the World Cup were given extra rest, as the clock ticks closer to Super Rugby Pacific.  

The trio of Barrett, Cam Roigard and Tyrel Lomax have returned to the Hurricanes for their first taste of pre-season, as the three current All Blacks on the franchise's books.  

Captain Ardie Savea is currently on sabbatical in Japan, along with Dane Coles, who will retire after a short stint with Kubota Spears.  

Speaking for the first time publicly in 2024, the youngest Barrett brother concedes he still feels the hurt of the World Cup final, but returning to Super Rugby should at least start to heal last year's wounds.   

"Each day seems to be getting a little bit easier," said Barrett. "I'm not all the way there yet, but for the case of us boys, we're just looking forward to getting back into training, getting in around some other fellas and back into our work.  

"We've been training remotely for the summer, but it's been a great break. I'm ready to rip in again."  

As part of the changing landscape of Super Rugby in New Zealand, the Hurricanes are one of many teams hoping to capitalise on the exit of coach Scott Robertson from the all-conquering Crusaders.

After seven titles in seven years, Robertson has moved on to lead the All Blacks and taken two rival coaches with him, recruiting former Hurricanes boss Jason Holland and Blues counterpart Leon MacDonald.  

That leaves three of five Kiwi sides under new management this season, with former All Blacks Sevens boss Clark Laidlaw appointed to lead the Hurricanes in quest of a first title since 2016.  

Barrett hopes the pain of a World Cup final defeat will help push the Hurricanes towards silverware in 2024.   

"It'll probably linger even longer, but that's just sport, we'll get over it at some stage," he continued. "That's why we play the game, that's why winning probably feels so good - because it's so hard to win a lot of the time.  

"We'll try and use it as fuel to put into the 'Canes season. We've had a couple of finals losses the last few years, there's a lot of motivated boys in this facility that want to go one or two better as well.  

Jordie Barrett scores for the Hurricanes against Moana Pasifika.
Jordie Barrett scores for the Hurricanes against Moana Pasifika. Photo credit: Getty Images

"It's a disciplined and highly motivated group at the moment."  

As a coach, Laidlaw's pedigree in sevens goes without question, winning the world series twice, a World Cup of his own and Olympic silver at Tokyo 2021. 

With the Hurricanes being the latest Wellington side to benefit from the state-of-the-art New Zealand Campus of Innovation in Sport, Barrett is optimistic. 

"It's great, this new facility is unbelievable," he said. "The new things popping up each day.  

"[We have] a fresh coach in Clark Laidlaw and hearing from the boys, he's been outstanding.  

"Good things to come."