Rugby: David Barnes to play 200th reserve grade game for Hastings Valley Vikings

200-gamer: David, Mel and Hannah Barnes with Eden and Jonah at Oxley Oval. Photo: Ivan Sajko
200-gamer: David, Mel and Hannah Barnes with Eden and Jonah at Oxley Oval. Photo: Ivan Sajko

FORMER Hastings Valley Vikings president David Barnes will achieve a special milestone at Oxley Oval on Saturday.

It will be a family affair with wife Mel and children Eden, Jonah and Hannah all expected to cheer him on from the sideline.

While it has taken the best part of 17 years, Barnes will run out for his two hundredth reserve grade game when the Vikings clash with the Coffs Snappers.

Barnes played his first game for the Vikings in 2000 and despite missing a couple of seasons due to injury, the 37-year-old always wanted to return.

“I got a bit of an itch this year to have a run,” he said.

“I missed being sore of a Sunday because that was how you knew if you had a good game the day before, but it isn’t like it used to be back then.

“I don’t miss it that much now.”

Barnes’ last game of rugby was in 2013 and when he found he was on the cusp of joining the 200 club the itch became too much.

But he has no intention of continuing to play beyond this season or calling it quits at full-time on Saturday.

“It would be nice to retire on 200 games, but if we make the finals and once I get out there on Saturday I’ll want to keep playing for another couple of games,” he said.

Barnes has played in various positions for the club, mainly on the wing, at fullback and now in the centres.

“I have held plenty of roles within the club but celebrating 200 games this weekend will be up there with the most exciting things I have been involved in,” he said.

He was also involved in the club’s first premiership first grade win in 2010.