Barrett ruled out for rest of NRL season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barrett ruled out for rest of NRL season

By Steve Jancetic 27/07/2009 07:41:28 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart may be headed for a showdown with the Australian Rugby League after declaring Sharks five-eighth Trent Barrett "unavailable" for the end of season Kangaroo tour after he sustained a double facial fracture on the weekend.

The NSW Origin five-eighth suffered a fractured eye socket and broken cheekbone after colliding with Blues teammate and Melbourne prop Brett White in the fourth minute of his side's 30-10 loss to the Storm on Saturday night.

Barrett, who only returned to the NRL this season following a two-year stint with Super League club Wigan, bravely continued playing before his night finally came to an end when he was knocked out by another White hit midway through the second half.

The double injury requires a 6-8 week rehabilitation and with the Sharks out of finals contention his NRL season may be over but Barrett is still in contention for the quad series with France, New Zealand and England which starts in later October.

But Stuart got in early on Monday saying Barrett can't be considered.

"He won't be available," Stuart told Channel Nine.

"He's going now to have six weeks out with a serious facial problem - to put it bluntly he's too important for us for next year.

"I've hardly had Trent this year, I've missed him twice, for two games after being suspended through Origin.

"It's not fair to my club in regards to sending him away now with the Australian team for a tour.

"I'm not going to risk him going away then coming back having six months out with a knee injury."

While Barrett wouldn't be a walk-up start to make the squad, the ARL is unlikely to be particularly pleased with Stuart's comments given he can't make a decision on player availability for national duty anyway.

Stuart was the Kangaroos coach himself until he was forced to stand down after a tirade against referee Ashley Klein following Australia's shock World Cup loss to New Zealand last year.

During his tenure he had a philosophy of `putting pride back in the Australian jumper'.

Barrett, meanwhile was simply still coming to grips with his season-ending injury after an impressive return to the NRL.

"I'm pretty shattered," Barrett told the Ten Network.

"I'm disappointed that it just puts more pressure on our side too.

"We've had a lot of injuries this year and not a lot of luck."

Barrett has been limited to just 13 games this season thanks to a run of injuries and State of Origin commitments.

The 31-year-old suffered neck and back injuries early in the year before his return to Origin football in games two and three of the series was sandwiched around a two-game ban for a high tackle on Queensland centre Greg Inglis.

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