Planet Rugby

Boks, ABs dominate Barbarians squad

19th November 2013 17:17

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Jean de Villiers Brabarians v Aus 2008

Jean de Villiers: One of nine Boks

South Africa's captain Jean de Villiers was one of nine Springboks included in a 23-man Barbarians squad to play Fiji at Twickenham on November 30.

The squad contains eight members of the South Africa squad who have already beaten Wales and Scotland on their current tour of Europe, as well as legendary Springbok flanker Schalk Burger.

Full-back Willie le Roux, so impressive in last weekend's 28-0 win over Scotland, is also included as are fly-half Pat Lambie and forwards Duane Vermeulen, Eben Etzebeth, Coenie Oosthuizen, Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis.

World champions New Zealand provide the coach in Steve Hansen plus eight players from the All Blacks' squad now in Europe.

There are also five Argentina internationals at Hansen's disposal.

Barbarians' teams traditionally include at least one uncapped player and that role is filled by Hurricanes scrum-half TJ Perenara, on tour with New Zealand but yet to play a Test.

This month's fixture celebrates the centenary of the Fiji Rugby Union and is a re-match of the Fijians' shock 29-9 win over the Barbarians at Newcastle Gosforth, north-east England, in 1970.

Barbarians chairman John Spencer, who played in that match, said: "I suppose you could say that we were favourites to win the match but in the event we were overwhelmed by Fiji's relentless attacking.

"If I remember rightly, we were level at half-time but Fiji finished with seven tries! All we could do at the end was congratulate them on a phenomenal performance," added the 66-year-old former centre, who played 14 Tests for England from 1969-71.

A large crowd is expected for the match, with more than 60,000 seats sold at a Twickengham ground where the capacity is over 80,000.

Although not normally accorded Test status, matches for the Barbarians - rugby union's most famous invitational side - have traditionally been regarded as a significant honour for the players selected.

The Barbarians' most celebrated fixture was their 23-11 win against New Zealand in Cardiff in 1973.

Gareth Edwards's opening score, when the outstanding Wales scrum-half finished off a seven-man length-of-the-field move initiated by half-back partner Phil Bennett, is still widely regarded as one of rugby union's greatest tries.

Barbarians squad:

Backs: Willie le Roux (South Africa), Santiago Cordero (Argentina), Charles Piutau (New Zealand), Frank Halai (New Zealand), Jean de Villiers (South Africa), Gavin Williams (Samoa), Patrick Lambie (South Africa), Tom Taylor (New Zealand), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), Martin Landajo (Argentina)
Forwards: Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa), Guillermo Roan (Argentina), Coenie Oosthuizen (South Africa), Matias Diaz (Argentina), Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Dominic Bird (New Zealand), Manuel Carizza (Argentina), Steven Luatua (New Zealand), Luke Whitelock (New Zealand), Schalk Burger (South Africa), Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)

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