Bar­ritt’s not ready to smell the cof­fee yet

The Rugby Paper - - News - ■ By GARY FITZGER­ALD

BRAD Bar­ritt aims to make it big in cof­fee when he fi­nally hangs up his boots – but for now the cen­tre is far more cap­ti­vated by the sweet smell of con­tin­ued Sara­cens suc­cess.

The South Africa-born cen­tre has en­joyed play­ing a piv­otal role in the re­mark­able Al­lianz Park rev­o­lu­tion, and claims it has not yet fin­ished.

Bar­ritt, 31, has been pre­par­ing for life af­ter rugby by in­vest­ing in a cof­fee busi­ness that he hopes will fill the huge void once he stops wear­ing the Sar­ries jersey.

But for now Bar­ritt in­sists ap­petite for suc­cess on the field is as strong as it was when he was plucked from Cur­rie Cup ac­tion by then Sara­cens coach Jones to start a won­der­ful jour­ney over here.

Bar­ritt hopes to cel­e­brate his 200th club ap­pear­ance with vic­tory over Wasps to­day hav­ing been a corner­stone to Sar­ries re­mark­able spell of five ma­jor tro­phies in six years, and emer­gence as a Euro­pean su­per power.

His in­ter­na­tional ca­reer may have been cut short by the same Aussie who un­leashed him on the English game, but Sara­cens have cer­tainly ben­e­fited from hav­ing him con­stantly avail­able.

Bar­ritt in­sists: “I came here as a 21-year-old, and the hunger I had then is still the same now. I’m mo­ti­vated by the peo­ple I work with ev­ery day. My per­sonal feel­ings and at­tach­ment to the club mo­ti­vate me.

“Hav­ing been here from the start and see­ing where the club’s gone since 2008, I take huge sat­is­fac­tion from be­ing part of that jour­ney.

“The first Premier­ship vic­tory in 2011, the re­silience of the play­ers and coaches, then the first Euro­pean vic­tory af­ter five years of con­stant work. We pounded the rock and earned the right to call our­selves cham­pi­ons.

“I’m very proud to play for the club for 200 games. To play with guys you call friends is pretty spe­cial. Ev­ery week­end it is easy to get ex­cited about play­ing.

“There has been a com­plete rev­o­lu­tion at the club since I joined. The per­for­mances and suc­cess of the team has grown year on year. It started with Bren­dan Ven­tor and Mark (McCall) has taken that on to new heights.

“I am lov­ing my time here, play­ing some very good rugby and be­ing part of a very suc­cess­ful team, so I have no am­bi­tion to stop any time soon.”

Bar­ritt in­sists he will be well pre­pared for the day when he de­cides to stop.

He in­sists: “Cof­fee has al­ways been a pas­sion of mine. I am in­volved on a slightly dif­fer­ent level in a family busi­ness with my brother. I’m also in­volved with a Bio-Tech com­pany and Cof­fee Roast­ery called Tiki Tonga.

“I’ve been plan­ning my fu­ture since I left school. As a rugby player you are al­ways aware of the in­jury rate and what can hap­pen. I have up­skilled my­self, first as an un­der­grad­u­ate in South Africa, and Sara­cens helped me push on and do a masters in busi­ness.”

Sar­ries’ di­rec­tor of rugby Mark McCall in­sists: “Brad has been a great role model for all the play­ers here. He has been huge on and off the field.

“He’s the club cap­tain and the leader of the play­ing group who sets an un­be­liev­able ex­am­ple for all the other guys to fol­low.

“He is as com­pet­i­tive per­son as you are go­ing to come across and has been cen­tral to the en­vi­ron­ment which ex­ists here.”

Sara­cens role model: Brad Bar­ritt

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