51-cap Wallaby Berrick Barnes has called time on his playing career, as his body simply can’t do what it used to on a rugby pitch.
The 33-year-old spent the second half of his career with the Panasonic Wild Knights and latterly the Ricoh Black Rams in the Japanese Top League, and was twice named tournament MVP since arrival in Japan in 2013.
Barnes international career was brought to a halt after a spell in which he was dogged by concussion issues. Eventually, the Brisbane born 10 decided to try his hand in Japan, away from the brutal physicality of Test 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,” Barnes 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.”
His final season with the Black Rams was curtailed by the coronavirus.
“To all the players, thank you for making me feel really welcome and a part of the Ricoh family,” he said. “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.”
“I look forward to seeing you all again in the near future once all of the coronavirus restrictions are lifted. I wish the Ricoh company, club and supporters all the very best in the future.”
Despite playing union in school, he initially opted for league with the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL, where he made 9 appearances.
He switched back to the union and the Queensland Reds in 2006 and went on to make his Wallabies debut in 2007. He scored 200 points across the span of his 51-cap career with Australia.
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