Barbarians coach Dean Ryan has urged his side to restore some pride in the jersey when they face England at Twickenham on Sunday.
Barbarians head coach Dean Ryan has urged his squad to restore some pride in the jersey when they collide with England at Twickenham on Sunday.
The invitational side, who lost 40-12 to England last year and also went down 59-8 to the British and Irish Lions, need a response this weekend.
“I think everyone has a responsibility to make this fixture competitive because the history of the Barbarians is there, but the here and now needs to be looked after as much as everything else,” said head coach Ryan ahead of the fixture.
“And that requires the group respecting what's gone on in the past, but also being aware of their responsibility to act here and now.
“And that's something we've impressed upon the group.
“We're aware of times when that hasn't gone well, and this group have articulated that they are pretty keen to separate themselves from that, and put in a competitive fixture.
“Because it's crucial to the success of something, we all marvel at this group, the fact that we can bring this group together under the same banner should not be lost.
“But then it shouldn't be lost on the responsibility of those involved to ensure they maintain it, and that's something we've expressed very clearly.”
Juan Manuel Leguizamon captains the Barbarians on Sunday in a strong line-up that includes the likes of backs Rene Ranger, Hosea Gear and Juan Martin Hernandez.
And despite England missing many of their first-choice players due to Aviva Premiership Final commitments and also being on tour in New Zealand, Ryan remains wary of them.
“It's a new experience for me to try to capture the vast experience in the squad in such a short time-frame,” he said.
“It's alright having a million different ideas but we've got three days to refine them, so we've spent a lot of time stating what they want to do.
“Any one of these players could have captained this side, but we felt Juan captured what we want to do with this group.
“This England side might be a few chunks down the conveyor belt because of other fixtures and commitments, but it still looks extremely healthy.
“It shows an extremely healthy picture of rugby in England.”