Barnes facing battle

 Nov 01,2012
Written by: Editor

Australia utility back Berrick Barnes faces stiff competition for a starting spot on the Wallabies' end-of-year tour to Europe.

The 46-times capped veteran played in eleven consecutive Tests for Australia, before suffering a punctured lung during their Rugby Championship loss to South Africa in late September.

The injury forced Barnes to miss the Wallabies' last two outings - a 25-19 win over Argentina in Rosario as well as the 18-18 draw with trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand (ending the All Blacks' 16-match winning streak).

Kurtley Beale wore the number 10 jersey, Pat McCabe played at inside centre and Mike Harris was prefered at full-back in both those Tests - three positions that Barnes can easily fill.

"You've got to earn your spots back ... that's the way Robbie has always been. You get injured, you've got to work your way back into it again," Barnes told AAP.

"I'm under no illusions as to what probably I have to do to get back into it.

"In the three positions I play, you've got three guys playing well.

"Even if there's an opportunity to get back on the bench, I'd take it - that's for sure.

"I've always probably thought my best position was 12 but, in saying that, Pat McCabe is playing some of his best rugby and he's one of the leaders in the group, so I'm not expecting to get back in there ...

"I play 10 and 15 as well, so that gives me obviously a leg up for bench spots, but we'll just see what happens on the tour."


Tags: International |  Australia | 

From The Sideline