Super 14 - Game of the Week
Reds to welcome former favourite Barnes
February 11, 2010
Waratahs star Berrick Barnes warms up for the new season, Waratahs pre-season training session, Victoria Barracks, Sydney, Australia, January 18, 2010
Berrick Barnes will make his Waratahs bow against his former team © Getty Images

The Super 14 season kicks off this weekend and there will be no love lost in Brisbane, where Queensland Reds host the New South Wales Waratahs. In one of rugby's classic rivalries there will be added spice as former Reds favourite Berrick Barnes lines up at No.10 for the Waratahs.

The Wallabies playmaker will be up against the man who took his place in November following injury, Quade Cooper. Cooper has only just been cleared to play following his arrest for burglary, and he will not be wanting for a tough challenge on his return to the side.

Both teams endured difficult seasons last time out, with the Reds bringing in former Tahs boss Ewen McKenzie as a replacement for Phil Mooney. McKenzie has already made his presence felt, shifting skipper James Horwill from his usual second-row berth to blindside flanker and winger Peter Hynes to fullback following the injury-enforced retirement of Mark McLinden.

Cooper is joined at halfback by Wallaby Will Genia while Digby Ioane moves back to the wing after impressing at outside-centre last season.

He will be up against another new Waratahs signing, Wallaby Drew Mitchell, while Kurtley Beale is deployed at centre. The excellent Benn Robinson leads the charge up front and starts a loose-head, with Phil Waugh starting another campaign at openside in an all-Wallaby back-row featuring Dean Mumm and Wycliff Palu.

McKenzie admitted that Barnes will likely receive a hostile welcome from the home fans.

"Berrick is a professional rugby player and he has played at some big stadiums, but it is good that the crowd wants to help us win," he said. "Maybe that might have the reverse effect, who knows? But this isn't about the Reds versus Berrick Barnes, it is about the Reds playing the Waratahs and that is where our focus is."

Reds: Peter Hynes; Digby Ioane, Morgan Turinui, Anthony Faingaa, Rod Davies; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Ben Daley, Sean Hardman, Laurie Weeks, Adam Byrnes, Van Humphries, James Horwill, Daniel Braid, Scott Higginbotham

Replacements: Saia Faingaa, James Slipper, Ezra Taylor, Andrew Shaw, Richard Kingi, Tim Walsh, Will Chambers

Waratahs: Sosene Anesi; Lachie Turner, Tom Carter, Kurtley Beale, Drew Mitchell; Berrick Barnes, Luke Burgess; Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Al Baxter, Will Caldwell, Cam Jowitt, Dean Mumm, , Phil Waugh (capt), Wycliff Palu

Replacements: Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Ben Mowen, Josh Holmes, Daniel Halangahu, Rory Sidey


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