All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett has revealed he “feared the worst” after his mid-air collision against South Africa in Nelspruit last weekend.
Fortunately the former World Rugby Player of the Year avoided any injury from the shocking fall after he collided with Springbok Kurt-Lee Arendse.
He has since spoken to camera ahead of Saturday’s second game against South Africa in the Rugby Championship and admitted he’s a very lucky man.
A fearful period
“It was quite a big collision and I did think the worst instantly; especially when I was on the ground and – I can’t remember who it was – told me to stay still,” Barrett said on the All Blacks‘ YouTube channel ahead of what is a crunch showdown at Ellis Park.
“It wasn’t until (the doctor) came on and asked me ‘can you move your fingers? Your toes?’ – I was relieved to have passed those tests. I eventually sat up and was able to walk off and get on with it.
“But there was a fearful period there for a minute or so where you do think of the worst. It’s quite scary when you go over backwards and you find yourself come down on your head and shoulders.”
He added: “It’s part of the game; I understand that. Every time we go up for a high ball we have got to be courageous. Sometimes the chasers don’t get it right. They have intentions to get up but find themselves running into the person, which happened in the weekend.”
South Africa are renowned for their aerial game plan and Barrett fully expects nothing to change style-wise when they face the Springboks this week.
Boks won’t change
“It’s something we expected from South Africa in terms of the high ball collision and contest. I don’t think they’ll change anything; they will look to make it a real contest,” said the fly-half.
“We’ll continue to be courageous and get up; we’ll just have to, under the current rules, our escorters have to do a job within the rules to legally stop that chaser from running a good line and allowing that mid-air collision.
“Relief is an understatement.”
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