Berrick Barnes

Berrick Stevens Barnes (born 28 May 1986) is an Australian professional rugby union footballer. His usual position is fly-half or inside centre. He is currently signed with Japanese Top League club Panasonic Wild Knights, but previously played in the Super Rugby competition with the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds. He also played for the Wallabies in international matches.

Berrick Barnes
Birth nameBerrick Stevens Barnes
Date of birth (1986-05-28) 28 May 1986
Place of birthBrisbane, Australia[1]
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight87 kg (13 st 10 lb; 192 lb)
SchoolIpswich Grammar School
Rugby league career
Position(s) Five-eighth, Halfback
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Toowoomba Clydesdales
Brisbane Broncos[2]


Rugby union career
Position(s) Inside Centre / Fly-half / Fullback
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Sydney University
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Ballymore Tornadoes
Panasonic Wild Knights
Correct as of 3 September 2017
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
Queensland Reds
NSW Waratahs
Correct as of 15 July 2013
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2007–13 Australia 51 (200)
Correct as of 24 June 2013

Early life

Barnes was born in Brisbane[1] but raised in Kingaroy, a town in country Queensland. He attended Kingaroy State School and played junior rugby league for the Kingaroy Red Ants. He also played men's A-grade cricket at 12 years of age.[3][4]

In 1999, Barnes took up a scholarship to attend Ipswich Grammar School. He switched to playing rugby union and was selected in representative rugby teams including the Queensland U-16s. Barnes continued playing rugby league as well, and was picked for Brisbane Broncos development camps.[3]

Barnes was a star wicketkeeper-batsman in junior cricket[5] and was also good enough to win state championship medals in swimming. His sports master at Ipswich, Nigel Greive, described Berrick Barnes as "the most talented all-rounder I've ever been associated with".[3]

By his final year at Ipswich in 2003, Barnes had played in the school's First XI cricket team for five years, and in the First XV rugby union team for four years.[3]

Barnes began his professional sporting career straight out of school. He was scouted by the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland Reds and Queensland Bulls, but decided to join the Broncos.[5]

Rugby league

When Barnes started at the Brisbane Broncos in 2004, he played in the Queensland Cup competition for the Broncos' feeder club, Toowoomba Clydesdales. He played mainly in the five-eighth or halfback positions.[6]

Kangaroos Coach John Dixon praised Barnes for his performances in the Queensland Cup, leading to his selection in 2004 for a Kangaroos Invitational XIII against Papua New Guinea in Townsville and for the Junior Kangaroos against the PNG Junior Kumuls in Lae.[6][7] His playing position was hooker for both matches.[3][7]

Barnes also played for Queensland U-19 against NSW U-19 in curtain-raiser matches to State of Origin in 2004 and 2005.[8][9]

Barnes made his NRL debut for the Broncos in 2005 at the age of 18, coming off the bench in round 8 against the Manly Sea Eagles. He went on to make 9 NRL appearances for the Broncos, scoring 1 try.[2]

However, shortly after his first run-on start with the Broncos, Barnes signed a two-year-deal with the Queensland Reds to switch codes and play rugby union.[4][5]

Rugby union

Super Rugby Career

Barnes played for the Queensland Reds from 2006 to 2009. He made 45 appearances and scored 105 points, including 6 tries, for the Reds in Super Rugby.[10][11] In 2009 he was captain of the Reds side for the first half of the season whilst James Horwill recovered from injury.

In 2010 he joined the NSW Waratahs, and later signed on until the end of 2013.[12][13] He made 43 appearances, and scored 194 points including 4 tries for the Waratahs in Super Rugby.[10] In 2011, he suffered from "Footballer's Migraine" and took three months off from the game, from June 2011.[14][15]

International career

Barnes made his international debut aged 21 in Australia's first pool match of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, against Japan. After only three minutes on the field, and with his first touch of the ball, Barnes scored his first Test try. He scored again, five minutes from the end of the game, which Australia won 91–3. After the match, in which he excelled,[16] he said:

The crowd was unbelievable. It felt like a Boxing Day Test. Standing in that tunnel, I've never heard a roar like it. Standing next to the Japanese as we waited to walk out was pretty special. I was giving a few 'yahoos'. The boys gave me a bit about that. I was pumped. I wasn't going to hold it in.[17]

The following week, for Australia's next World Cup match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Barnes was originally selected as a replacement. Stephen Larkham injured his knee, however, and Barnes was told on the morning of the game that he would be the starting fly-half.[18] He played the full match and made a significant contribution to Australia's 32–20 victory, setting up a try for Matt Giteau and then scoring a field goal from 32 metres. He added another drop goal in Australia's next pool game, a 55–12 win over Fiji that assured Australia a place in the quarter-finals. Barnes was rested for the final pool game but returned to the starting line-up for the quarter-final match against England in Marseille, where Australia exited the tournament.[1]

By 2008, Barnes had become a key member for the Wallabies. He scored the first try of the Robbie Deans era as coach of the Wallabies, against Ireland in Melbourne.[1] A shoulder injury in the historical victory over the Springboks in the Tri-Nations disrupted his season,[1] but he was selected for the 2008 Spring Tour. Unfortunately, in the first 8 minutes in the game against Italy he tore a posterior cruciate ligament in his knee and was sent home.[19] The following year, Barnes was named vice-captain of the Wallabies for the 2009 Spring Tour but was sent home after he rolled his ankle at a training session in Tokyo, Japan and sustained a syndesmosis injury.[20]

In 2010, he missed selection for the first Test of the season against Fiji but played in the next match against England. He then went on to play the entire Tri Nations series, either starting or on the bench.[1] Barnes was named co-captain of the Australian Barbarians side against England that played in Perth and Gosford.[1] He captained the mid-week Wallabies team on the 2010 Spring Tour for the matches against Leicester Tigers and Munster, where his standout performance on that tour was against Italy in Florence where he scored 22 points in that game. Barnes handled the goal-kicking in Florence, in the absence of James O’Connor, kicking eight goals from nine attempts as he showed the benefits of his work with the Wallabies' South African kicking consultant, ex Springbok Braam van Straaten.[21] In the final Test of the 2010 Spring Tour, Barnes, playing at inside centre, linked with fly-half Quade Cooper to help orchestrate a spectacular 59-16 demolition of France, in Paris.[1]

Barnes made five appearances at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which included the final 28 minutes of the quarter-final against South Africa, and the last 45 minutes of the semi-final against New Zealand; in both instances coming on at inside centre in the place of Pat McCabe.[1] He stepped into the fly-half role after Quade Cooper was injured 21 minutes into Australia's Bronze medal playoff against Wales, and steered Australia astutely to a 21-18 win.[1]


  1. "Berrick Barnes". Wallabies Profile. ARU. 2012. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  2. "2005 Point Scorers". Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  3. Knox, Malcolm (4 February 2010). "Could a no-nonsense Queenslander with a background in rugby league be the saviour of the Waratahs' Super 14 team?". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  4. QRU (16 June 2005). "Reds sign promising youngster Berrick Barnes" (Press release). ARU. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  5. "Barnes lifts Reds' blues". ABC. 15 October 2005. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  6. "Trio to don the green and gold". Toowoomba: The Chronicle. 5 October 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  7. "Berrick keeps feet on the ground". (originally from the Sunday Mail). 31 October 2004. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  8. "Queensland Under 19 Team 2004". RLeague. 5 May 2004. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  9. "Queensland Under 19 Team 2005". RLeague. 16 May 2005. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  10. "Berrick Barnes club rugby stats". Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  11. "Waratahs profile". Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  12. "Berrick Barnes quits Queensland Reds for NSW Waratahs". Australian. News Limited. 5 March 2012. Archived from the original on 1 August 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  13. Woods, Melissa (11 February 2011). "Berrick Barnes joins Wallabies stars to re-sign". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. AAP. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  14. Park, Nicky (14 June 2011). "Little known about footballer's migraines". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  15. Payten, Iain (14 June 2011). "Waratahs flyhalf Berrick Barnes out for season with footballer's migraine". Daily Telegraph. News Limited. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  16. Hamilton, Garth (10 September 2007). "Berrick was the Right Call". The Roar. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  17. Rugby Heaven: Barnes nearly steals the show Archived 11 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. Courier Mail: Wallabies beat Wales with help from Berrick Barnes
  19. Smith, Wayne (9 November 2008). "Coach Robbie Deans won't seek Barnes, Tahu replacements". Courier Mail. News Queensland. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  20. Walton, Darren (30 October 2009). "Australia vice-captain Berrick Barnes ruled out of Grand Slam tour". Rugby. News Limited. AAP. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  21. Payten, Iain (21 November 2010). "Berrick Barnes kicks wasteful Wallabies home to a 32-14 Test win over Italy". Daily Telegraph. News Limited. Retrieved 5 March 2012.

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