How Milton Haig and Eddie Jones snagged Beauden Barrett

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 5 Jul 2020, 1:11PM
Beauden Barrett currently plays for the Blues. (Photo / Supplied)

How Milton Haig and Eddie Jones snagged Beauden Barrett

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 5 Jul 2020, 1:11PM

He's at it again.

Fresh from humiliating the All Blacks at the World Cup, England coach Eddie Jones also played his part in snaring Japan-bound Beauden Barrett away from New Zealand rugby.

England have allowed Jones to continue his consultancy work for Suntory Sungoliath where he is now director of rugby.

Jones came up with a fake spy story before the World Cup semifinal last year. But now he'll get the perfect chance to check out the inner workings of an All Black star and maybe grab himself some vital intellectual property from New Zealand rugby.

The England coach will get close to one of the All Blacks' best weapons and see what makes him tick when brief Blues back Barrett joins Suntory for a reported $1.5m..

Jones normally spends three weeks a year at Suntory, and stays in close contact with them the rest of the time dealing with recruitment and other matters.

Suntory is coached by Kiwi Milton Haig, who guided Georgia for two World Cup cycles until last year.

Haig jumped at the chance when Barrett's name was mentioned, and so did Jones.

"He (Jones) has been in Tokyo for the last four months – he's had a big involvement (in club matters) and I have regular meetings with him," Haig told NewstalkZB's Elliott Smith.

"He's been helpful for us in terms of pre-season and the season's planning for next year.

"We sat down six or seven months ago – in Japan they look pretty early at next season's roster.

"Eddie Jones was obviously involved as the director of rugby. Beauden's name came up and as soon as they said his name I said he's the guy I want. Eddie was in favour as well."

Meanwhile Haig was excited to be working with Barrett, who he first spotted as a junior cutting opponents apart at the national sevens tournament.

Haig said Barrett's commitment to a new club was proven at the Blues, when he emerged from lockdown to set team and personal best training records.

"The season starts in mid-January and we're expecting him here in December," said Haig.

"He has international commitments in October and November and we'll take stock of where he is at after that. He has a young family as well.

"He'll drive bums on seats…but ultimately it's about winning championships."