Barnes still eyeing battle with Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barnes still eyeing battle with Reds

By Tom Wald 01/11/2009 01:54:58 PM Comments (0)

Injured Wallabies playmaker Berrick Barnes is still holding hope of a much-anticipated Super 14 homecoming in the NSW Waratahs' season opener against Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

Barnes's return to the Sunshine State after leaving the struggling Reds in the off-season was expected to be one of the major talking points of the competition's opening round.

But an ankle injury that prematurely ended his spring tour with the Wallabies in Tokyo has put a question mark over his prospects of taking on his former team on February 13.

Barnes is set to meet with specialists this week in Sydney to find out whether he needs surgery which could rule him out of the season start.

"My focus is now to try and get right for the Queensland game in round one and that is something I would love to be involved in," said Barnes on arrival at Sydney Airport from Japan on Sunday.

He expected an arthroscope this week to reveal the seriousness of his ankle ligament tear.

"I think I will be getting a (arthro)scope on it and that will determine whether I need screws or not and if so it is a three month, four month injury," he said.

"If not it is six to eight weeks, I hope for the latter."

It was the second year running that Barnes' spring tour has been cut short, the 23-year-old breaking down with a knee injury less than 20 minutes into last year's tour.

"Something about England, it does not like me or I don't like it," he said with a smile.

"I just can't seem to get over there and get a game in."

Barnes said his injury would force him to have to get to know his new teammates off the training paddock during pre-season.

"I am pretty disappointed, that is something I really wanted to get in and do a good pre-season with the boys and obviously I will be around camp getting to know them," he said.

Barnes' sidelining is a major blow to the Wallabies' chances of achieving a rare sweep of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales this month.

He missed out on watching Australia's 32-19 defeat to the All Blacks in Tokyo on Saturday night as he was in transit at the time.

The Wallabies kick off their UK campaign with a mid-week fixture against Gloucester on Tuesday night before tackling England on Saturday.

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