Watch rugby star Beauden Barrett get thrown around in an acrobatic plane
All Blacks star Beauden Barrett is one of the most exciting players to watch in world rugby – find out what makes him tick and how he copes with high-pressure situations as he rides in a stunt plane.
Beauden Barrett is known for his dynamic and dominant backs play for New Zealand's international rugby team. His off-the-cuff and freewheeling playing style has made him a global superstar and one of the most exciting players to watch right now, so it's no surprise to learn that his schedule is pretty hectic.
His rugby programme for the 2017–18 season finished last month in Rome, where he helped himself to a try as his side beat Italy 3–66. Then he took a quick trip to Monaco for the World Rugby Awards and he followed that up with a first visit to Salzburg, Austria to put him through his paces in an acrobatic plane at Red Bull's Hangar-7.
Barrett is gearing up for a huge 2019 in which he can become a world champion for the second time and cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats. He currently has 73 caps for New Zealand and turns out for The Hurricanes in Wellington, where he's enjoyed a remarkable journey to the peak of his sport.
You can watch our special intAIRview with Barrett as he's taken on a ride of a lifetime with aerobatic pilot Dario Costa in the video player above and read an exclusive interview with the rugby star below.
Your two brothers, Jordie and Scott, also play for the All Blacks, so rugby is clearly in your family genes. How old were you when you first remember playing at home?
I was five or six years old, I just remember running around in bare feet. At 9am in the morning there would be a frost, I'd be cold but also playing with my brothers and sisters in the back yard. We were just trying to be our heroes – at the time they were Christian Cullen and Tana Umaga. It’s a dream come true to wear the black jersey.
Was it always rugby?
It was a bit of everything. Our parents were great at getting us into athletics, swimming, cricket and golf – whatever was going really.
Was there a big sibling rivalry growing up?
We're a competitive bunch. Quietly competitive but whatever it was, whether it was ball-games or playing touch or cricket, it was very heated.
You try to go back home to the farm where you grew up in South Taranaki whenever possible. When there, do you allow yourself to think back to your younger days reflect on how far you’ve come?
I guess so. It’s just so peaceful coming back to the farm that’s so quiet. It’s spacious and it’s home, so yeah when all the brothers and sisters are sitting around the table it’s always a special time of the year for family. It’s not something we reflect on too much, we're just brothers and sisters at the end of the day.
When your rugby career is over, will you return and run the farm?
Not at all, no. I’ve never been one to run to the cow shed and milk the cows. I’m not sure what I'll be doing.
What's the secret to the success of the Barrett brothers?
I don’t know if there's any secret. We have good work ethics, we train hard, we have high standards but ultimately we enjoy it. And like I say, when we were kids growing up it was our dream, so we’ve never seen it as job. It’s a privilege to turn up and call rugby work each day.
How do you reflect on the 2018 season? Has it been your toughest to date?
I wouldn’t say that! Every season is hard, every season has its ups and downs. But yeah, it was a challenging one and I felt that I made a lot of gains in some areas, and you know, building from some awesome experiences too.
In 2019, you have the chance to become a two-time world champion, which would be historic. How much of a motivation is that?
That’s a big motivation for me. It’s a great opportunity hopefully on selection in the squad. I just know it’s such an exciting time, it’s sort of four years of preparation and then the competition itself, it’s seven or eight weeks. For some reason, the more the pressure comes on, the more enjoyable it gets. There was the case in England in 2015. So hopefully I can be part of it, and hopefully it’s a memorable one.
For now, Barrett is chilling out in the off-season. But it will be active rest because he won't be far from a golf club and he'll be enjoying a spot of cricket. His pending nuptials in January, plus honeymoon, is on the agenda, and then he can refocus for what will be another mammoth year of rugby, culminating in Japan for the Rugby World Cup, where he will seek to raise the Webb Ellis Cup for the second consecutive time. Watch this space!