Lennox rugby scores former Wallaby
FORMER Wallaby and Super Rugby five-eighth Berrick Barnes will join the Lennox Head Trojans in a coaching role this season.
Barnes, 30, is no stranger to Far North Coast rugby union and has been a guest coach at Ballina and Lennox Head training sessions in recent years.
He has been named as the backs coach at the Trojans and will join Jason McCombie who is back at the helm after two seasons away from the game.
The Trojans last made the grand final when McCombie was coach in 2014 with Aaron Matenga taking over the following season.
Barnes is currently playing under former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans at the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan.
He has committed to run sessions and will be at some Lennox Head games when he is back in Australia.
Barnes could come up against his former New South Wales Waratahs coach Chris Hickey when the Trojans take on Ballina.
Hickey coached Barnes at the Waratahs in 2010 and 2011 before he returned to the region to coach Ballina last year.
Barnes will bring plenty of experience to a young Lennox Head team with two world cups and 51 Wallabies caps to his name.
He finished his Super Rugby run at the Waratahs in 2013 after stints with the Queensland Reds and Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League.
Meanwhile, Wollongbar-Alstonville will be the team to beat as they aim for a fourth straight premiership this season.
Coach John Jenkins is back at the helm with the Pioneers likely to retain the bulk of its team from last year.
Elsewhere, Byron Bay should be aiming for another tilt at the title after they went down in the grand final after only losing one game during the season.
Paul Jeffery is coaching again in his fourth season at the club.
The FNC rugby union season will kick off in April.