Super Rugby champion coach Jamie Joseph and New Zealand great Carlos Spencer will take charge of the Barbarians next month when rugby makes its first appearance at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Joseph led the Highlanders to their first Super Rugby title when they beat the Hurricanes in last month’s final.
His next appointment is to lead the Barbarians, who celebrate their 125th anniversary this year, against Samoa on August 29. It is the first time rugby will be played at the iconic London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic venue.
"It’s a privilege to take charge of the Barbarians, who are known the world over for bringing great players together to play entertaining rugby," said Joseph.
"They have achieved an incredible amount in their 125-year history and to be the first rugby team to play at such a famous stadium makes it even more special.
"It should be a great game to watch, particularly as Samoa will be really determined to show what they can do as they prepare for their RugbyWorld Cup 2015 games."
As a player, Joseph won the first of 20 caps for New Zealand in 1992 and made his final appearance in the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa in 1995.
He played for Japan in the 1999 tournament and coached Wellington and the Maori All Blacks before taking over the Highlanders in 2011. The unfashionable Dunedin side hadn’t reached a final since 1999 but triumphed over the Hurricanes 21-14 to complete a fairytale 2015 season.
He teams up with ‘King Carlos’ Spencer, one of the game’s great fly-halves, who won 35 caps for New Zealand while playing for the Blues before spells with Northampton Saints, Gloucester and the Johannesburg-based Lions.
Spencer moved into coaching in South Africa at the end of his playing career in 2011 at the Lions and the Sharks before signing a long-term deal with Eastern Province Kings.
The Barbarians v Samoa match is part of testing programme run by England Rugby 2015, the Rugby World Cup 2015 Organising Committee, and will allow them to trial aspects of match day delivery ahead of the venue hosting five Rugby World Cup 2015 matches, including the Bronze Final, later this year.
Samoa will go on to open their Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign against the USA at Brighton Community Stadium on September 20.
The Barbarians will make further announcements about the players invited to take part in the match against Samoa in due course.