Rookie to replace Barrett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rookie to replace Barrett

By Brent Read 20/05/2003 09:09:00 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra has turned to a 21-year-old with only one game in first grade to cover for captain Trent Barrett, who was today ruled out for the remainder of the National Rugby League season.

Barrett has given up on playing again in 2003 after arthroscopic surgery revealed deep ligament damage to his troublesome right ankle.

The NSW and Australian five-eighth will require a pin in the ankle and is expected to be immobilised for six to eight weeks before he can begin rehabilitation work.

Coach Nathan Brown named Dean Byrne in the No.6 jersey for this weekend's game against South Sydney at the SCG and warned his players they had no excuse for a poor season despite the loss of their playmaker.

"It's disappointing to lose him but it's still not an excuse for us to have a poor year," Brown said.

"I feel sorry for Trent, but we have young Dean Byrne who has played super football in reserve grade.

"I'm excited for him. He's got an opportunity."

Byrne missed most of last season after breaking bones in both feet in separate incidents.

Barrett was expected to miss only four to eight weeks with the ankle injury after limping off the field in Friday night's City-Country game at Gosford.

But the club and Barrett were stunned tonight when surgery revealed the extent of the damage.

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