Rugby in the blood for Barrett family

  • 17/09/2013

Cousins Neesha and Kane Barrett have been throwing a ball around since they were kids on neighbouring farms.

"It would get pretty physical. None of us really like losing, so it was always competitive and very serious," Neesha says.

And it was a common occurrence that she thrashed the boys. 

"Not once, many times! She was a lot bigger than us, so we were on the receiving end, us boys," Kane says.

In fact 23-year-old Kane and 22-year-old Neesha locked the scrum together at primary school. 

"He told me that the boys would just pull my hair, So I just tucked it up and I just looked like a little chubby boy out there. One boy said something about me doing something wrong and he said, 'Ref, he's not doing something,' and Kane goes 'that's miss to you' and the boy was like 'oh,' Neesha says.

Rugby's a way of life for the Barretts. Neesha's uncle "Smiley" famously hung the Ranfurly shield in the cow-shed in 1996.

Of his eight kids, Beauden's an All Black and Kane's a Blues loosie.

But at training in Hawera, number eight Neesha is helping build another legacy, captaining the re-formed Taranaki women's team in their first NPC since 2000.

Taranaki Rugby Football Union development officer Jack Kirifi says she's got what it takes. 

"She has great leadership skills. She's a good person, and has got that rugby knowledge that we need in our team and our campaign."

After packing down in opening losses to Manawatu and Canterbury, Neesha Barrett's rugby education, which started in on the farm with the boys, continues with the girls. 

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source: newshub archive