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Barbarians add two former England stars for their upcoming Killik Cup clash against Fiji

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Tuesday Feb 27, 2024

When it comes to celebrating rugby in its purest form, very few do it better than the Barbarians and Fiji. With their flamboyant and exciting playing styles, there’s much to be joyous about as they both take to the field on Saturday 22 June.

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In their classic black-and-white strips. both sides embody the simplicity in which the game can be played. Neither side ever appears to be weighed down by the overbearing pressure that can come with modern professionalism.

The two sides will come face to face at Twickenham in the summer, the location for so many of the Baa-Baas matches. The game will be played under the bracket of the ‘Killik Cup’, in which Barbarian F.C. are the current holders, beating the World XV 48-42 in last summer’s blockbuster showdown.

Starting to announce their upcoming squad for the match, the Barbarians have included record England cap holder Ben Youngs in what will remarkably be his first-ever Barbarians appearance. This will be a huge occasion for the charismatic ‘Lenny’ as his career starts to wind down.

On the other end of the career spectrum, England fan favourite Zach Mercer will also be donning the black and white of the invitational side – but for him, this will be his second appearance after being named Player of the Match in their face off against New Zealand All Blacks XV at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2022.

The Barbarians have faced Fiji four times in their history, winning on three occasions: Twice in 2013 and once in 2016. The most recent meeting between the sides in 2019 ended 33-31 to Fiji as they overcame a BaaBaas team led by Eddie Jones in a ten-try thriller at Twickenham.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 16: The Barbarians Forwards maul the ball forwards during the Killik Cup match between Barbarians and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on November 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians )

John Spencer, President of the Barbarians, said: “We’re thrilled to be returning to Twickenham and facing Fiji, a fixture that always brings huge enjoyment to players and fans alike.

“As we saw so brilliantly demonstrated during the men’s Rugby World Cup 2023, Fiji play rugby with huge passion and creativity on display – very much the style of the Barbarians. The Killik Cup 2024 will be an incredible showcase of passion, flair and fast-paced rugby from both sides. We can’t wait.”

BJ Mather, General Manager of High Performance at Fiji Rugby, added: “These matches play an important role in the development of our players on the international stage. “Our 2019 fixture against the Barbarians provided a brilliant building block, which
culminated in a successful Rugby World Cup campaign in 2023.

“This match will start that four-year process again and we look forward to an action-packed day full of tries and entertaining rugby for the fans at Twickenham.”

Recently it was announced that the occasion would be treated as a double header, with South Africa and Wales competing on the same day in the stadium.

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