Barbarians to play Samoa in London

Date published: February 19 2015

The Barbarians will play Samoa at the newly-opened Olympic Stadium in London later this year on August 29, ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The event will be the first Rugby Union match at the scene of the 2012 Olympic Games and will be delivered in partnership between the Barbarians, E20 Stadium LLP (a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council), and England Rugby 2015, Tournament Organisers for Rugby World Cup 2015. 

The match is also part of England Rugby 2015's testing programme and will allow the organisers to trial aspects of match day delivery ahead of the venue hosting five Rugby World Cup matches, including the Bronze Final, later this year. 

The Barbarians will field a high-quality side of international stars when they take on former Rugby World Cup quarter-finalists Samoa, who are preparing for Pool B matches against South Africa, Scotland, the USA and Japan. 

Samoa will utilise the match as a final warm-up opportunity before opening their Rugby World Cup campaign against the USA at Brighton Community Stadium on September 20.  

"It is a significant honour for the Barbarians to take part in the first rugby match at the Olympic Stadium," said Barbarians' President Micky Steele-Bodger.

"The match should be a great spectacle for supporters and we hope to light up the stadium with the Barbarians brand of rugby in our first match against Samoa." 

Samoa coach Stephen Betham said: "It is a great privilege for the Samoan Rugby Union to play the Barbarians in the run up to Rugby World Cup 2015. Not only will it be our first ever match against the Baa-baas, but at the Olympic Stadium too, it will certainly be a historical moment for us."

"The attacking flair of Barbarians rugby will be a good test for us to measure where we are at in our preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. The game will allow us to test our attack, defensive systems and final combinations, and is the ideal final dress rehearsal for Manu Samoa's Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign."