Jordie Barrett packs on seven kilos for upcoming Super Rugby season - 'Yeah, I hope it's muscle!'

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NZN

Jordie Barrett is doing his very best to lose the "Udon" nickname given to him by older brothers Beauden and Scott.

Ngani Laumape, TJ Perenara and Jordie Barrett of the Hurricanes celebrate a try. Western Force v Hurricanes, Round 15 of the 2017 Super Rugby season at NIB Stadium, Perth, Australia. 3 June 2017. Copyright photo: Daniel Carson / www.photosport.nz

Ngani Laumape, TJ Perenara and Jordie Barrett of the Hurricanes celebrate a try against the Western Force.

Source: Photosport

Renowned for his tall and gangly frame, the Hurricanes and All Blacks utility has packed on seven kilos over the off-season, hoping to hold his own in the tackle and become better suited to a midfield role in 2018 and beyond.

The 20-year-old rose quickly through the ranks in 2017, making his Super Rugby debut for the Canes and then earning two Test caps.

Yet those achievements have mostly occurred from a fullback position, where Barrett's composure under the high ball and creativity have served him well.

He said he was happy to keep playing fullback, with Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso forming a fearsome Canes midfield pairing in 2017.

But he'd like to be as versatile as possible.

"Yeah - I hope it's muscle," Barrett said with a grin.

"Just trying to get a bit stronger and more powerful, and to be able to serve in midfield as well - hopefully that extra body weight will be good for me."

With a starting All Blacks berth all but certain due to Ben Smith's sabbatical, Barrett's 2017 campaign was cut short in August by a shoulder injury.

He underwent shoulder surgery over the off-season and was forced to watch on as the likes of Damian McKenzie and David Havili earned black jumpers.

But he was looking forward to staking his claim again in 2018.

Barrett will miss the Canes' trip to away matches against the Bulls in South Africa and Jaguares in Argentina, but should be fine to return in their Kiwi derby clash against the Crusaders in Wellington in early March.

"In a way it's freshened me up, given me a break from the game to think about other things in life and work on the mental, the technical sides," Barrett said.

"I have a few things in the back of my mind but my focus short-term is on finishing my rehab, getting back out on the field and hopefully playing well."

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