Berrick Barnes back for final start
July 11, 2013
Berrick Barnes gets toiwear the sky blue jumper one last time © Getty Images
Berrick Barnes will start one final match for New South Wales Waratahs, lining up alongside Rob Horne in the centres against Queensland Reds at ANZ Stadium in Sydeny on Saturday after Adam Ashley-Cooper was ruled out of contention by his ankle injury sustained in the final Tom Richards Cup Test between Australia nd the British & Irish Lions at the same vernue
Wallabies Israel Folau and Wycliff Palu also miss the Reds fixture with injuries sustained against the Lions, replaced in the Waratahs' starting XV by Tom Kingston and Jed Holloway respectively. Kingston will play as the right wing with Cam Crawford moving to fullback, while Holloway starts at blindside flanker with captain Dave Dennis playing his second match of the season at No.8.
"The way it's scheduled straight after the guys have been playing together, when you get the chance to play against them it makes you want to turn it on more than ever," Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said of the game one week after the final Test between the Wallabies and the Lions. "Friendships you make during that block, you're prepared to break in 80 minutes on the field. That leads to a stronger mentality, and that's something I want to teach them."
Cheika said the Waratahs would not lack for motivation against the reds ewven though they cannot qualify for the Super Rugby finals. "If we can beat the Reds this week, we'll finish with the same number of wins as them. When you take that compared to where we were last season, that's a good improvement."
Cheika also expects his players to go out to impress new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie. "If you go out and do a number on his team, he's only going to think positively of you. It's a great opportunity for guys to go out and show their colours, especially guys who maybe haven't been in the picture. For the likes of Dave Dennis, Bernard Foley, Rob Horne and even Berrick Barnes, who didn't play much, it's a chance to show that they're prepared to put their hands up and do their best for selection."
Cheika named an extended eight-man bench, which he will reduce ahead of gameday.
The match will mark the Waratahs swansong for five players, with Sitaleki Timani and Barnes heading to France and Japan respectively, Tom Carter calling time on a 10-year NSW career, and Kingston and John Ulugia also departing. Another departing player, Drew Mitchell, was not available for selection after picking up an ankle injury on club duty two weeks ago.
Waratahs: Cam Crawford; Tom Kingston, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes, Peter Betham; Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin; Dave Dennis (captain), Michael Hooper, Jed Holloway; Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani; Sekope Kepu, John Ulugia, Benn Robinson. Replacements: from Luke Holmes, Jeremy Tilse, Will Skelton, Pat McCutcheon, Mitchell Chapman, Matt Lucas, Tom Carter, Ben Volavola.
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