Barnes aiming for strong start at Ponty
Danny Barnes is aiming to help Ealing Trailfinders begin their pre-season fixtures in winning style when the team crosses the Severn Bridge to take on Pontypridd on Saturday.
The match at Sardis Road is the first of three pre-season fixtures for Ben Ward’s side, with clashes away to Hartpury College and Coventry to follow in subsequent weekends.
The Auckland-born Barnes moved south over the summer from Newcastle Falcons and having endured a tough, yet enjoyable pre-season he is keen to help show what the team is capable of.
“We do so much work during pre-season, it is quite gruelling, with a lot of running and a lot of shuttles, so it is good that we are now coming up to game day and we can play some rugby and throw the ball around, ” he said.
“The first few weeks, it was just getting to know guy’s names, let along get moves right. This week though there is a good buzz and everyone can feel there is a bit more flow to our shape, which is really exciting.”
For Barnes the match will be the first time that he has taken on Pontypridd, though he is no stranger to how tough Welsh teams are to play from his time with Ireland U20 and Munster.
“From looking at their videos they look a pretty decent side, with a lot of attacking threats, ” Barnes said. “It will be a really good challenge for us leading into the league.
“In terms of fitness it is going to be massive to get through 80 minutes. Just going to Wales, anywhere in Wales is a tough place to go and visit and get a performance. It is important to be able to grind out a win and get into get habits when we go to places like that.”