30-year old Kevin ‘Smiley’ Barrett was added to the Hurricanes squad during 1997 as injury cover. He appeared as a substitute in two matches at the end of the season, and then played against the Brumbies as a flanker in the last round robin match, and then against them the following week in the team’s first semi-final.
Tough as teak, the Taranaki veteran then played at lock for the Hurricanes in 1998, starting in the first eight rounds and making another three appearances off the bench.
Barratt was a Taranaki stalwart, appearing in 167 matches and scoring 99 points up until his retirement at the end of 1999, following which Paul Tito truly emerged as an able replacement in the Taranaki second row.
Barrett’s sons, Beauden and Kane, are both Super Rugby players. First five-eighth Beauden had a stellar rookie Super Season in 2012, resulting in him making his All Blacks debut against Ireland in June, returning in 2013 and 2014 for both the Hurricanes and the All Blacks. Lock/flanker Kane debuted for the Blues and was Taranaki’s captain in the 2013 ITM Cup.