Australian Rugby
Barnes ready for return to duty
ESPNscrum Staff
August 2, 2011
Waratahs playmaker Berrick Barnes trains in protective headgear, Waratahs training, Moore Park, Sydney, Australia, April 28, 2011
Barnes has worn protective head gear in a bid to rid him from his crippling headaches © Getty Images

Berrick Barnes has declared himself fit for Test selection in a bid to gatecrash the final 30-man Wallabies squad for the World Cup.

The 25-year-old opted to take a break from rugby following a series of knocks to the head which saw him struggling with concussion and migraines. However, since the end of the Super Rugby campaign - Barnes has played two full matches for Sydney University and believes he is now ready to make a comeback for the national side.

And Barnes has even gone as far as personally contacting Wallabies boss Robbie Deans in a bid to state his claim for a place in the final 30-man squad for the World Cup. ''It has been great playing for Uni, and I have got my confidence back,'' Barnes told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''I feel really good again. So I got in contact with Robbie tonight (Tuesday) and told him that I am again available. The ball is now in their court, and in the meantime I will continue playing in the club ranks.''

Meanwhile fellow Waratahs team-mate Benn Robinson is continuing his remarkable comeback from an injury which was originally deemed to have brought an abrupt end to the prop's World Cup dreams. Robinson has since rejoined the Wallabies in their camp on the Gold Coast and has stretched his legs running 1.5km in front of the backroom staff.

''The doctors were expecting some swelling after that, but there wasn't, which is encouraging,'' Robinson said. ''The big one will be backing up after I've done a fair bit of work on my knee.''

''This is really a day-by-day, week-by-week proposition. I have never done a knee before, so I don't really know what to do and how far I can push it. At the moment, it is just small steps. But I am pushing as hard as I can.

''When I first did it, I was pretty down and did it tough for the first week. Since the Monday when I found out that I could play, it has been a roller-coaster ride. To get up and train is no problem if it involves having a shot at the World Cup.''

Despite Robinson's race-against-time, his determination has drawn admiration from boss Deans who said: 'History would suggest the odds aren't great, but he has made a great start and he's excited by that. It's just a matter of keeping going and how he responds to each level as he ups the ante. There's a long way to go.''

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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