\"My body is no longer allowing me to do what I used to\": Berrick Barnes announces retirement

Sat, Apr 25, 2020, 1:34 AM
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Berrick Barnes has retired from professional rugby. Photo: Getty Images
Berrick Barnes has retired from professional rugby. Photo: Getty Images

Former Wallabies utility Berrick Barnes is retiring from rugby after 15 years in professional football.

Barnes began playing rugby league with the Brisbane Broncos in 2005 before signing with the Reds in 2006.

The Queenslander made a controversial move to the Waratahs in 2010 before finishing his Super Rugby career in 2013.

Barnes made his Wallabies debut in 2007, playing 51 Tests in a career that was at times marred by injuries.

The utility back moved to Japan in 2014 and has played out his career with Panasonic and the Ricoh Black Rams.

Barnes enjoyed success in his time in Japan, claiming a string of titles with the Wild Knights under former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans and claiming two Top League MVPs.

The 33-year-old made a brief return to Australia in 2017, featuring in the Brisbane Tens for the Wild Knights, and also played in Perth against the Western Force last year.

In a statement on the Black Rams website on Friday, Barnes said he had to retire because his body was no longer up to the task of professional rugby.

"I firstly want to say a big thank you to both the coaching and recruitment staff for giving me the opportunity to represent the Ricoh club," he said.

"I learnt a lot from Kami-san's leadership and I felt very welcome by the 'Aussie' contingent of coaches who were equally supportive on and off the field.

Berrick Barnes during his time with the Ricoh Black Rams. Photo: Getty Images"I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Ricoh medical staff, in particular Udi-san.You are a great man and an even better trainer, thank you for your help and support in getting me back on the field after back surgery.

"To all the players, thank you for making me feel really welcome and a part of the Ricoh family.

"I'm really sorry I couldn't contribute more on and off the field. Unfortunately my body is no longer allowing me to do what I was able to do in the past and for that reason I have chosen to retire.

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