News in Brief
Barnes extends Waratahs stay
Berrick Barnes has settled in nicely at the Waratahs
© Getty Images
- Berrick Barnes has signed a one-year contract extension with the NSW Waratahs that will keep him at the Super 14 franchise until the end of the 2011 season.
Initially, versatile playmaker Barnes had only committed to the current campaign after leaving the Reds last year, but the move quashes rumours that he might join the Melbourne Rebels or another team next year.
Barnes has been shifted between No. 10 and No. 12 in the Waratahs' mixed start to the season, but he has settled in sufficiently enough to want to extend his stay in Sydney, citing both rugby and personal reasons - including studies - as factors behind his decision.
"You weigh up everything that's put in front of you and in the end I know its definitely the right decision to stay at the Tahs,'' said Barnes.
"I'm glad I have made the call and I don't have to worry about it anymore. I've really enjoyed the culture here, thus far. It's been a tough four weeks but I feel as if the squad is moving in the right direction and it is something I feel excited about being a part of for another year."
- Highlanders captain Jimmy Cowan returned to New Zealand on Monday after dislocating a finger during his team's 0-33 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.
Cowan was replaced early in the second half after making a lunge at the try line which resulted in a dislocated finger on his right hand. He is expected to return for the Highlanders' round six match against the Sharks in Dunedin on March 20.
Jimmy's brother Scott Cowan, who is part of the Highlanders wider training squad, will fly to South Africa as a replacement, while Jamie Macintosh will captain the team for their final match in South Africa against the Bulls on Saturday.
- England Saxons hooker Rob Webber has signed a new two-year deal with Wasps. Webber, 23, wore the captain's armband in their victory over Gloucester last weekend on the occasion of his 50th Guinness Premiership game for the club.
- Chiefs prop Sona Taumalolo has escaped punishment for a dangerous tackle on Quade Cooper during their Super 14 loss to the Reds.
Taumalolo was found guilty but no sanction was imposed by SANZAR judicial officer Peter Hobbs after a hearing in Wellington. Hobbs decided that while Taumalolo's tackle breached the laws of the game, his overall culpability did not warrant any further penalty.
- Edinburgh centre Nick de Luca has signed a new two-year deal with the Magners League side. Meanwhile, lock Craig Hamilton has been given the all-clear after being taken to hospital with a head injury during Sunday's victory over the Ospreys at Murrayfield.