14 Jun 2011

Berrick Barnes to take break from rugby

4:20 pm on 14 June 2011

The Australian utility back Berrick Barnes has decided to take an indefinite break from rugby after seeking medical advice following repeated instances of concussion stemming from head knocks throughout the Super Rugby season.

The 25-year-old, who can play first-five and inside centre, ruled himself out of the New South Wales Waratahs' lineup for the remainder of the Super Rugby season but held hope of being available for the Wallabies squad in time for the World Cup in New Zealand starting September.

The 31-Test back earlier this month said he wanted to be allowed to wear a boxing style helmet to protect himself after missing two matches for the Waratahs because of concussion and another with a migraine.

Barnes's loss comes as a further blow for the injury-hit Waratahs' post-season hopes.

The Sydney-based side face a crunch match against the ACT Brumbies this weekend, needing victory in the regular season's last round to secure a top six playoff berth.