The Barbarians are preparing to play South Africa, the Czech Republic and Fiji next month
The Barbarians are playing three games in seven days next month in what is a busy November schedule. The famous invitational side kick things off by facing South Africa at Wembley on Saturday 5 November, then travel to Prague to play the Czech Republic three days later and round off the fixture list against Fiji in Belfast on the Friday.
Robbie Deans, the former Crusaders and Australia coach, and 2003 World Cup winner Will Greenwood are coaching the Baa-Baas for these three games and have already announced some big names in their squad as they chase a hat-trick of victories against the Springboks – they won 26-20 in 2010 and 22-5 in 2007.
Australia’s Taqele Naiyaravoro, Wycliff Palu and Will Skelton will be donning the famous black-and-white jersey alongside Andy Ellis, a 2011 World Cup winner with New Zealand.
Giant Waratahs and Panasonic Wild Knights wing Naiyaravoro – a Pro12 competitor with Glasgow last season – has scored on both his appearances for the Wallabies and returns to the Barbarians after appearing against Samoa in 2015.
Crusaders and Kobelco Steelers scrum-half Ellis won the last of his 28 caps in last year’s Rugby Championship and featured for the Barbarians in their 2010 win over South Africa.
Australia No 8 Palu and lock Skelton will become Barbarians No 4,995 and 4,996 respectively when they make their debuts for the club. At 6ft 8in and 22st, Skelton will be one of the biggest combatants in Barbarians’ history. He played for the Wallabies against the Barbarians in 2014, an 11-try classic won 40-36 by Australia.
As for the match in Prague, Baa-Baas honorary secretary Gordon Brown said: “The Barbarians will be facing a 20th different international side and we have competed against many developing rugby nations as well as established countries. We are delighted to be able to play a role in raising the profile of the game in the Czech Republic.”
Czech Rugby general secretary Pavel Mysak added: “This year is our 90th anniversary and this is our biggest event in years – it’ll be one of the highlights of those 90 years.
“After the success of the World Cup, people here are interested in rugby. It’s important for us to attract more people, particularly children, to the game. We want to show people in the Czech Republic a different sport that has strong values and the Barbarians are an example of that. They have a very high reputation and I know it’s one of the greatest honours for a player to be selected.”
Sat 5 Nov South Africa (Wembley, 3,30pm)
Tue 8 Nov Czech Republic (Prague, 6.30pm)
Fri 11 Nov Fiji (Kingspan, 7.30pm)
Tickets to the Barbarians v South Africa match at Wembley are available from £20 – click here for details. Tickets to the Barbarians v Fiji at Kingspan Stadium are available from £20 for adults and £12 for juniors. See www.ticketmaster.ie
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