A 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.
Barrett was a Taranaki stalwart, appearing in 167 matches and scoring 99 points up until his retirement at the end of 1999.
Barrett’s sons, Kane, Beauden, Scott and Jordie have all played Super Rugby with the latter three players all going on to represent the All Blacks.