Beauden Barrett’s “scary” plunge against France has left his All Blacks brother pleading for players to reduce the inherent danger in mid-air collisions.
New Zealand fullback Jordie Barrett says contesting high kicks is literally a leap of faith in the wake of a flashpoint incident in the second Test in Wellington.
Older brother and 2017 world player of the year Beauden fell head-first to the ground from considerable height when tipped over by France fullback Benjamin Fall.
Beauden was prone for a period after landing heavily on the back of his neck and played no further part in the Test.
“At first it was pretty scary. We always fear for player welfare and, with it being my brother, I was a little bit worried,” Jordie said.
“He’s OK but obviously he failed the concussion test and he’s had a few headaches and that, so not ideal.”
Jordie wouldn’t comment on the merit of Fall’s red card.
He agreed the Frenchman didn’t have any intent to injure but said the incident was a reminder about the vulnerability of jumpers and how the game’s laws must protect them.
The 21-year-old echoed the recent thoughts of Blues back Matt Duffie, who said two jumpers at different heights is a recipe for potential disaster.
“From a catching point of view, you can’t think about it though,” Jordie said.
“If you go up worrying someone’s going to hit you, you’re not going to catch the ball nine times out 10. You’ve just got to trust other players have a duty of care.”
Jordie was arguably New Zealand’s best player in a disjointed New Zealand performance.
They won 26-13 in a display several notches below their opening 52-11 triumph in Auckland.
The third and final Test is in Dunedin.