Preview: Barbarians v Fiji

Date published: November 10 2016

On the back of drawing with South Africa, the Barbarians will hope to claim their first win of November when they take on Fiji on Friday.

Kingspan Stadium will be the venue for a fixture that promises a great deal of free-flowing rugby whatever the weather brings in Belfast.

The Barbarians scored some scintillating tries against the Springboks and Fiji will have their hands full against Robbie Deans’ charges.

On the back of thumping the Czech Republic in midweek, Deans has recalled several of the side from Wembley, with a handful of additions.

In comes Ulster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions wing Tommy Bowe, who lines up alongside Highlander Richard Buckman in midfield.

“It’s a huge honour, I’m delighted to get the call and the Baa Baas is one of the great traditions,” said Bowe ahead of the Belfast clash.

“It is something I never thought I would get the chance to do so I’m looking forward to the match. Personally I need game time, to get my match sharpness back and playing a game like this should be right up my alley. It is amazing for the Barbarians to come here to Ulster. It is the first time since 1957 so it is a big occasion against the Fijians and it doesn’t get more entertaining rugby-wise,” the wing added.

In other team news, the Barbarians have drafted double World Cup winner Ben Franks at prop and have Ulster star Ruan Pienaar on the bench while Robert du Preez returns to the fly-half jersey ahead of Richie Mo’unga. Andy Ellis once again captains the Baa-baas from scrum-half.

Fiji meanwhile have included Nemani Nadolo in their line-up as he starts on the wing alongside Waisea Nayacalevu and Benito Masilevu.

Albert Vulivuli and Asaeli Tikorotuma form a strong midfield while Ben Volavola is at number 10 alongside scrum-half Serupepeli Vularika.

Up front there is experience in the shape of Campese Ma’afu and Manasa Saulo. Api Ratuniyarawa and Dominiko Waqaniburoto are at lock while Naulia Dawai, Mosese Voka and Akapusi Qera make up the back-row for what should be a thrilling match at a packed Kingspan Stadium.

The teams:

Barbarians: 15 Melani Nanai (Blues), 14 Matt Faddes (Highlanders), 13 Tommy Bowe (Ulster & Ireland), 12 Richard Buckman (Highlanders/Panasonic), 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs/Panasonic & Australia), 10 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders/Kobelco & New Zealand, captain), 8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand), 7 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 5 Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia), 4 Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), 3 Ben Franks (London Irish & New Zealand), 2 Akker van der Merwe (Lions), 1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes)
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready (Reds), 17 Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia), 18 Paddy Ryan (Waratahs & Australia), 19 Martin Muller (Lions), 20 Ruan Ackermann (Lions), 21 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster & South Africa), 22 Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders), 23 Luke Morahan (Force & Australia)

Fiji: 15 Benito Masilevu, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Asaeli Tikorotuma, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Serupepeli Vularika, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Mosese Voka, 6 Naulia Dawai, 5 Dominiko Waqaniburoto, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Jale Sassen, 1 Campese Ma’afu
Replacements: 16 Joeli Veitayaki, 17 Sunia Koto, 18 Leroy Atalifo, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Eremasi Radrodro, 21 Nemia Kenatale, 22 Metuisela Talebula, 23 Vatemo Ravouvou

Date: Friday, November 11
Venue: Kingspan Stadium
Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (Ireland), David Wilkinson (Ireland)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)