Barnes leading race for Reds captaincy
January 7, 2009
Reds centre Berrick Barnes looks likely to take the reins as skipper for the new Super 14 season © Getty Images
Wallaby centre Berrick Barnes looks favourite to be named as the Queensland Reds' skipper for the new Super 14 season.
Barnes, 22, is currently out of action after suffering a torn posterior cruciate ligament against Italy while playing for Australia, but is due to return in time for the Reds' pre-season trials. Barnes will not be ready for the opening trial, but should feature in one if not both of the games against the Blues in Auckland and Waratahs at Ballymore in early February.
"The second trial is a maybe while the third is virtually certain," Barnes told AAP. "I wouldn't mind having two (games) just to get into the swing of things."
The Reds will be without last season's skipper, lock James Horwill, after a foot injury ruled him out of Australia's end-of-season tour and the first half of the Super 14 season. Barnes has emerged as the favourite take over after a number of senior players, including Sam Cordingley, David Croft and Chris Latham, either left for stints abroad or retired.
Barnes is the only remaining member of the Reds' 2008 "leadership group", assigned by coach Phil Mooney, and will most likely be up against experienced hooker Greg Holmes for the armband.
"It's not an easy job," Barnes said. "You've got a lot of responsibility but whoever gets the nod to captain Queensland it's going to be a great honour. So I'd be pretty happy if it came my way."