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Barnes bashful about future

Tue, 05 Feb 2013 13:55
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Wallaby and Waratahs back Berrick Barnes remains unsure about his playing career,  after his contract at the franchise expires at the end of the Super Rugby season.

Barnes has not made any promises or confirmed any allegiances as to his future after the Super Rugby season.

Wallabies star Barnes has been reportedly linked to the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan for a stint starting later this year

"There won't be any finalisation on all that sort of stuff for a while, there's a lot of water under the bridge with all that yet," Barnes told AAP.

The utility back has reached the point in his career where it is not only about his interests.

"It's just where I am in my career.

"I've got to make decisions on what I think is best for both myself and my family and obviously my body too, I've got to think about those sort of things," Barnes added.

The 50-Test veteran has spent a few seasons with the Sydney based franchise and will be looking to this season as the one where they can really contest for higher honours.

"I couldn't fault our pre-season here, it's the most rejuvenated the whole squad has felt for a while and how hard we've worked.

"There's nothing in this pre-season that hasn't made me want to stay, but it's a decision on where I'm at and if I was to go, I don't think it would be the last time I'd play in Australia, that's for sure."

The former Reds player moved to Sydney in 2010 to play for the Waratahs and has been frustrated by a string of injuries which include a reccurring head injury.

While he was vice-captain of the Waratahs last season, Barnes doubted he was a contender to be captain, a position coach Michael Cheika will announce at Wednesday's season launch.

"I don't know who  'Cheik'  will pick to be honest, and he's kept it pretty close to his chest," Barnes said.

Prop Benn Robinson, who was captain last season is probably the leading candidate for the job this year, though Barnes and Wallabies forwards Tatafu Polota-Nau and Dave Dennis could be other contenders.

Barnes and his battle with injuries in the last couple of years means that it will be difficult for Cheika to select a player as captain that might not go the distance in what will be a long and difficult season.

Barnes finished the 2012 international season as the Wallabies starting fullback, but suggested he was unlikely to spend time there at the Tahs with Folau's arrival swelling their depth of outside backs.

"I'd say at the moment it [my role would be] at 10 or 12, with the amount of back three exponents we've got, we definitely aren't short on any," Barnes said.

It is fairly important for the Waratahs to have a fit and firing Berrick Barnes because the dynamism he adds to the squad is vital if they intend on being the strongest Australian side in Super Rugby this year.

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