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European tour tougher than Rugby World cup : Barnes



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Wallaby centre Berrick Barnes says that Australia’s upcoming Tour to Hong Kong and Europe is a tougher assignment than the world Cup and he believes that it gives the Wallabies a big chance to win back respect on foreign soil.

The Wallabies kick off their end of year tour against the All Blacks in Hong Kong on November the 1st.

The Bledisloe Cup has already been won by the All Blacks but the Wallabies are looking to level the honours after they lost their last match against the All Blacks by four points in Brisbane.

Following the Hong Kong test the Wallabies then fly to Italy for a Test and then England, France, Wales and the Barbarians all on successive Saturdays.

Barnes who formed an effective partnership with fly half Matt Giteau until injuring his shoulder forcing him out of the last two Tri Nations Tests says that beating the All Blacks at the start of the tour will go a long way to setting the right tone for the tour.

“We’ve obviously got a big point to prove, we’ve got to wait another year to have the chance to get back the Bledisloe,” Barnes told AAP after resuming heavy contact training on Tuesday for the first time since the Tri Nations.

“It’s an exciting challenge. The only tour I’ve even been on is the World Cup (in France) so this is probably going to be tougher than that in some respects, you don’t get any easy games on this trip.

“We’re playing six Test matches in a row and I think obviously a lot of it will depend on how well we start this tour.”

Barnes admitted that recent history does not favour the Wallabies but says that they are doing every thing under coach Robbie Deans to get the results going their way in Europe.

“This is a chance for us to win back some respect and that’s probably the biggest thing and the most important factor for us,” he said.

“This is the best preparation we’ve had. We’ve just done the hardest training block that I’ve ever been involved in.

“It’s certainly been a tough three weeks and I know we’re all going to be the better for it. We’ve just got to bring what we’ve got to the ground and hopefully that’s enough for us.”

Fellow centre Ryan Cross, who like Barnes is embarking on his first European tour, agreed.

“Obviously we’re good at home against the European teams but going over there we haven’t gone so well where they’re comfortable,” Cross said.

“The past four weeks (in camp) have been good, fitness levels are good and everyone’s fresh and ready to go, so I think there’s no excuses this time.”

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