Rugby: Barnes fit to play Wales

Berrick Barnes. Photo / Getty Images
Berrick Barnes. Photo / Getty Images

Wallabies playmaker Berrick Barnes has declared himself fit for Sunday's Test against Wales in Cardiff.

The injury-plagued inside centre hurt his shoulder in Australia's 60-11 victory over the Barbarians last weekend at Twickenham.

The man of the match in Australia's 21-18 victory over Wales in last month's World Cup bronze medal match trained with the national team on Tuesday afternoon in miserable conditions on the outskirts of Cardiff.

He is expected to line up at No.12 for the second straight week outside of new fly half James O'Connor.

Barnes, who this year battled migraines, showed some discomfort talking to the media on Tuesday but was confident of being ready for Saturday.

"I was a bit frustrated on the weekend, because something innocuous like that it just shits you because you are just wrong place, wrong time,'' he said.

"Every time I seem to go on spring tour I always seem to get injured.

"I have done an ankle, done a knee, done a few other things and did my knee in Italy the year before. It is just the way it goes.

"Last year I did not miss a game and this year I have had head problems. I just try to stay in the game.''

Wales coach Warren Gatland made six changes to his team for Shane Williams' farewell match at Millennium Stadium.

The New Zealand mentor put on a mask with Williams' face on it as part of `Shane Williams Day' in the Welsh camp on Tuesday.

Gatland said his players had to put the clamps on the Wallabies and that he wasn't upset by O'Connor being shifted from wing to fly half.

"I am happy that he is playing at No.10 than on the wing,'' he said.

"I think he is an outstanding winger as well. That is the key for the Australian team is not give them space.

"Not let them offload.''

Captain Sam Warburton returns after missing last month's match against the Wallabies through suspension.

Centre Scott Williams, halfback Lloyd Williams, fly half Rhys Priestland, lock Ian Evans and prop Scott Andrews have also all been named in the starting lineup.

Injuries ruled out centre Jonathan Davies, lock Alun Wyn Jones, props Paul James and Adam Jones while halves Mike Phillips and James Hook weren't released by their French clubs.


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