The Barbarians emerged 48-42 victors on Sunday afternoon in the Killik Cup clash with the World XV at Twickenham.
The highly anticipated game between the Eddie Jones-led Baa-baas and Sir Steve Hansen-coached World XV did not disappoint, with 14 tries scored in the rollercoaster fixture.
Former All Blacks centre Seta Tamanivalu scored in each half for the Barbarians, with Adam Radwan, Tevita Li, Stephan Lewies and Gareth Anscombe all crossing in the opening 40 minutes. Anscombe added four conversions to go into the beak up 33-28.
The World XV opened the scoring through Italian international Sebastian Negri with Springbok Sbu Nkosi, Fijian Api Ratuniyarawa and Israel Folau scoring for Hansen’s side in the first 40, Adam Hastings converting all four scores.
Bryn Hall and Nkosi both scored in the second half for the World XV, who came within a point of the Baa-baas in the final five minutes, but the men in Black and White secured the win with Taminivalu’s second try on the hooter.
Francois Hougaard and Sam Johnson both dotted down before the Fijian, with Alun Wyn Jones failing with his two conversion attempts on the latter scores.
Israel Folau beaten and jeered at Twickenham
World XV winger Folau was met with jeers from LGBTQAI+ protesters throughout the match. He scored one try for the World XV and initiated a second with a dynamic run from deep, but his every involvement was the subject of boos from small pockets of fans.
The 34-year-old, a Christian fundamentalist, was sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 because of a series of anti-gay social media posts, including one telling “homosexuals” that “hell awaits you”.
The Rugby Football Union reacted to his selection by World XV coach Hansen by flying the pride flag on Twickenham’s roof, and there were several rainbow flags evident in the 32,597 crowd.
Folau has switched national allegiance from Australia to Tonga, and there is the expectation that the former rugby league star will face a similar reception during this autumn’s World Cup.
Meanwhile, it was a successful return for Jones, who was making his first appearance at Twickenham since being sacked by England in December.