'I'll try to stay in the moment' - Tawera Kerr-Barlow relishing end of All Blacks career




Tawera Kerr-Barlow's All Blacks extra time is nearly over and he reckons there won't be a tear in sight - from him anyway.

The halfback will go on the All Blacks' end of year tour, despite signing for French side La Rochelle.
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The 27-Test halfback will probably play the last game for his country when the All Blacks face a French selection in Lyon.

It is unlikely he'll line up for either of the remaining tour Tests against Scotland and Wales, in which case his next game will be for his French club La Rochelle, when he takes up a three-year contract.

The Chiefs No.9 made his departure announcement in March, signalling what he thought would be the end of a Test career that began in 2012.

Instead, a lack of depth at halfback has forced the national selectors to retain Kerr-Barlow in all of their squads in 2017, as a backup to Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.

This week's match will be his fourth this year for his country, something he regards as an unmitigated bonus.

"We're obviously in a privileged position to be in an All Blacks side. I've been fortunate enough to have one last go, to be with my mates, a great bunch of men," he said.

"I won't think too much about it until afterwards. I'll try to stay in the moment and concentrate on what I've got to worry about. It would be foolish to think beyond that."

The French selection features three future clubmates at La Rochelle but there will be no bonjours on the field.

They can wait until later, as can Kerr-Barlow's French lessons which he made a tentative start on eight months ago.

"Since the All Black rugby's kicked in, I've had limited opportunity," he said.

"My French is very poor but we're really excited and ready to embrace the culture once we get there."

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