Guernsey Press

Raiders great Barnes getting ready to bid Guernsey a fond farewell

Raiders wave goodbye to one of their most iconic figures next month.

Guernsey Raiders assistant coach Malcolm Barnes speaking on the Guernsey Press Sport Podcast. (Picture by Tony Curr, 32756488)

Malcolm Barnes, arguably the best player to ever pull on a Guernsey shirt, now right-hand man to director of rugby Jordan Reynolds, is returning to his native New Zealand after 12 years in the island, during which time he has played a pivotal role in helping to the green-and-whites higher than they had ever been on the RFU ladder as both a player and coach.

‘Initially I’m going to go back and not commit to anything. Obviously rugby’s been a big part of my life now for 30-plus years, so I was going to see how I go for a month or two without it,’ said Barnes, who is the special guest alongside Reynolds on the new Guernsey Press Sport Podcast.

‘It's highly likely I will get back into something very shortly. The good thing about New Zealand, they play an under-85 rugby competition, so I could take away most of the big hits, so I may even get a year or two left on the playing front.’

  • Listen to the full interview with Malcolm Barnes and Jordan Reynolds on this week's Guernsey Press Sport Podcast

It has been an eventful time with Raiders for Barnes, who was playing for the first team as recently as this year’s Siam Cup, having been involved with several promotions over the years while overcoming some serious injuries, including breaking his neck in 2014.

‘I always really enjoyed the playing aspect and probably slightly more because as a coach you can do as much as you want during the week in terms of preparation, but for that 80 minutes, there’s very little you can do to to sort of steer the result,’ Barnes said.

‘But as a player, that’s your 80 minutes to actually determine the result and I prefer to be in charge of my own destiny.

‘But certainly working alongside Jordy the last few years more intently and with the coaching side has been just as enjoyable.

‘We have probably a few more lows than we probably used to, but you get the highs as well and it’s amazing.

‘I am getting a little bit more temperamental as a coach, but that’s probably just because of how much I love the team, love the squad, and how much I want to succeed, want to win and want everyone else to enjoy it.’