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Meet the staff: Berrick Barnes

Former dual-code star Berrick Barnes has joined the Knights coaching staff for the 2023 season.

An Australian representative in rugby union, Barnes brings a wealth of knowledge to the Club having played at the top level for over 15 years.

Working as a Coaching Consultant, the former Wallaby will work closely with the Club’s halves and outside backs.

Having already begun his new role, Barnes revealed a cold call from Head Coach Adam O’Brien sparked his interest.

Barnes on role with the Club and coaching techniques

“I got a phone call from Adzy (Adam O’Brien) out of the blue actually,” Barnes said.

“We’ve got mutual friends in the coaching world, and he must have thought I could help in some way.

“I’m here to do a bit of kicking and catching with the boys, and fortunately with the group we’ve got, there is already some really good coaches.

Having enjoyed a successful career in rugby union, Barnes started in league with the Brisbane Broncos making his NRL debut in 2005.

He played nine games at the Broncos during the ’05 season before switching codes and joining the Queensland Reds for the 2006 Super Rugby competition.

I’m trying to bring it back to process, and not worrying about the result. - Berrick Barnes

After four seasons with the Reds, Berrick joined the Waratahs and spent another four years at the NSW based club.

Barnes represented Australia on 51 occasions playing in some of the biggest games in world renowned stadiums.

The Queenslander played in the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups and was named vice-captain of the Wallabies on the 2009 Spring Tour.

Barnes retired from rugby in 2020 and has now returned to rugby league in a coaching capacity.

An expert goal and general play kicker in his playing days, Barnes said he will work closely on the players techniques.

“I’m trying to bring it back to process, and not worrying about the result. We get to worried about fear and kicking it out on the full,” Barnes said.

“I’m focused on getting the technique (right) and a process they can trust, then I’ll take that out and add the elements when we’re talking pressure, time and space.

“We’ve been working with tennis balls and soccer balls, they give you instant feedback.

Barnes travels down from Lennox Head on the north coast of NSW every two weeks for the coaching sessions.

When asked what excites him about the role, the former Wallaby had a simple goal.

“Just getting guys better,” Barnes continued.

“I don’t mind who the kid is whether he is playing SG Ball or first grade, I just want to take them from one spot and try and get them to somewhere else.

“And that is the challenge and I think that’s an everyday thing.

“It’s in their habits in whatever that is they're doing, doesn’t just have to be kicking.”