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Wallaby Barnes out of Aussie tour

Berrick Barnes in action against New Zealand
Barnes has made 21 appearances for Australia

Vice-captain Berrick Barnes has been ruled out of Australia's European tour after suffering an ankle injury.

The 23-year-old was hurt during a training session ahead of Australia's Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand in Tokyo on Saturday.

Scans revealed the Queensland Reds back has suffered ligament damage and could require surgery to rectify the injury.

The Wallabies have summoned 19-year-old Brumbies fly-half Matt Toomua as cover for their European leg.

Barnes' absence has forced Australia coach Robbie Deans into moving Adam Ashley-Cooper to inside centre, with James O'Connor coming in at full-back for the fourth and final encounter against New Zealand.

While Deans described Barnes' injury as "unfortunate", team-mate Digby Ioane said the inventive midfielder's presence will be missed at Tokyo's National Stadium.

"It is a big loss because Barnes is the go-to man, along with (fly-half) Matt Giteau," said the winger. "But Cooper is dangerous on the ball."


Australia have lost their last six meetings against their trans-Tasman rivals, including a 33-6 thrashing in September in Wellington.

Deans makes five changes to his starting XV from that game, with Ioane and fellow winger Peter Hynes, centre Ryan Cross and number eight Wycliff Palu the other new faces.

The All Blacks have made three changes, with winger Sitiveni Sivivatu, number eight Rodney So'oialo and centre Conrad Smith set to start.

Australia's Grand Slam tour of the British Isles gets under way with a Test against England on 7 November, followed by games against Ireland, Scotland and Wales on consecutive weekends.

Australia: Ashley-Cooper; Hynes, Cross, Barnes, Ioane; Giteau, Genia; Robinson, Polota-Nau, Alexander, Horwill, Chisholm, Elsom (capt), Pocock, Palu.
Replacements: Moore, Dunning, Mumm, Smith, Burgess, Mitchell, O'Connor

New Zealand: Muliaina; Jane, Smith, Nonu, Sivivatu; Carter, Cowan; Woodcock, Hore, Tialata, Thorn, Donnelly, Thomson, McCaw (capt), So'oialo.
Replacements: Flynn, Afoa, Eaton, Read, Leonard, Donald, Ellison.

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see also
New Zealand 33-6 Australia
19 Sep 09 |  Rugby Union
Australia 18-19 New Zealand
22 Aug 09 |  Rugby Union
New Zealand 22-16 Australia
18 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union

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The Independent Barnes blow leaves Australia reeling ahead of All Black Test - 8 hrs ago
Japan Today Wallabies face tough assignment in Bledisloe Cup - 14 hrs ago
Telegraph Nick Kennedy has point to prove to England manager Martin Johnson - 17 hrs ago
IOL Wallabies have it all to do - 22 hrs ago
Irish Independent Barnes injury rocks Aussies - 27 hrs ago


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