Waratahs get Barnes

Wallabies centre Berrick Barnes has become the Waratahs’ second big-name signing after he left the Reds.

Barnes has signed a one-year deal with the Waratahs after ending his four-year stint with the woeful Reds. The Sydney-based side have also signed wing Drew Mitchell from the Force.

This is a big plus for the Waratahs who were dealt a major blow after losing Lote Tuqiri and Timana Tahu.

Losing Barnes will be a big loss to the Reds, having already lost forward Hugh McMeniman who will pursue his career in Japan. They have also failed to sign key targets Richard Brown, Rocky Elsom and Mitchell.

Barnes was expected to stay longer at the Reds, but consecutive finishes in the bottom three in the Super 14 influenced him to move on.

Queensland coach Phil Mooney believes that the Reds tried everything they could to keep the playmaker at the club.

‘I can assure anyone involved in Queensland rugby, any stakeholder, we believed we satisfied any request he’d made,’ Mooney told the AAP, ‘but one thing about it, no one is bigger than the team.

‘We just have to concentrate on the players that want to be here.’

However, the Reds could battle to keep star back Digby Ioane, who is also on the Waratahs’ wish list