NSW Waratahs’ Berrick Barnes is tackled by Aca Ratuva of the Fiji Warriors during a trial rugby union match in February.
NSW Waratahs’ Berrick Barnes is tackled by Aca Ratuva of the Fiji Warriors during a trial rugby union match in February.

Barnes heads off serious injuries

INJURED New South Wales Waratahs player Berrick Barnes has warned athletes to take precaution with concussions and head injuries before returning to competition.

The 25-year-old suffered multiple concussions during the 2011 Super Rugby season and voluntarily sat out the final few weeks of the season as the Waratahs went on to make the qualifying finals of the competition.

“Head injuries are a hard thing to diagnose and I think there needs to be a bit said about it,” Mr Barnes said.

“It has to be up to the individual to put their hand up and say something is wrong if they feel dizzy or get headaches after a head knock.

“Hopefully the clubs become more aware of it and encourage blokes to take a week or two off.”

Barnes has spent the past week in Lennox Head training with former NSW Waratahs assistant coach Scott Wisemantel.

Wisemantel operates a coaching consultancy business in the area.

“I'm trying to get myself back on track and Lennox Head has been the perfect place for me to train,” Barnes said.

“Peter Roberts has helped me with strength and conditioning and it's been great so far.”

Barnes suffered his first concussion in a game against the Queensland Reds in February.

His injury woes continued when he was forced from the field with a severe headache against the Highlanders on June 11.

“I took one bad knock early in season and it just seemed to keep recurring,” he said.

Berrick Barnes

  • Born: May 26, 1986, Brisbane
  • Attended: Ipswich Grammar School
  • First played: Rugby league professionally at 19 under Wayne Bennett at the Brisbane Broncos in 2005
  • Signed: With the Queensland Reds rugby union team and played from 2006-2009
  • Currently: Plays for the New South Wales Waratahs
  • Contracted: For at least another two seasons

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