The Barbarians have named a formidable side to take on the Springboks at Wembley this coming weekend. The team features plenty of experience in the form of All Black Andy Ellis, and explosive talent such as Wallaby Taqele Naiyaravoro.
The matchday squad features seven capped internationals, and New Zealand 2011 Rugby World Cup winner Ellis captaining the side. [Get Match Tickets here now]
The Barbarians are taking on South Africa for the eighth time since 1952 and lead the series 4-3 after victories in 2007 and 2010.
The famous invitation side won 26-20 six years ago when tries from Australia’s Drew Mitchell (2), James O’Connor and Italy’s Quintin Geldenhuys secured victory.
Ellis appeared in that game and understands the unique way the Barbarians combine talent from around the globe in the space of a few days before taking on established international teams.
“It was a pretty special moment beating South Africa last time,” said Ellis. “It’s a beautiful thing. You make friendships. I’m still in touch with the guys I played with in 2010.
“This new team has come together, we’re getting on well and we’re having fun and now it’s just about fronting up and making sure we perform at the weekend. We understand how proud the Barbarians are and we’ve got a real job to do here.”
There are four South African-born players that will take on their fellow countrymen, with young Stormers fly half Robert du Preez, Lions hooker Akker van der Merwe, Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes and Lions lock Martin Muller all starting, while Lions flanker Ruan Ackermann is on the bench.
Du Preez’s father – also named Robert – won seven caps in the 1990s for South Africa and his son broke into the Stormers Super Rugby side this year. He will get the chance to measure himself against Pat Lambie, who will captain South Africa and actually plays with his brothers, Jean-Luc and Dan, at the Sharks.
“The guys want to play for themselves, for the club, for their families – all sorts of different motivations but we’re in a pretty good place,” added Ellis. “Boks taking on the Boks helps. They’ll certainly want to prove themselves.”
After facing South Africa, the Barbarians travel to play the Czech Republic in Prague (November 8) and then take on Fiji in Belfast (November 11).
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KICKOFF: Saturday 5th November at Wembley, kickoff at 3:30pm
15 Melani Nanai (Blues)
14 Matt Faddes (Highlanders)
13 Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders & New Zealand)
12 Richard Buckman (Highlanders & Panasonic)
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs, Panasonic & Australia)
10 Robert du Preez (Stormers)
9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders, Kobelco Steelers & New Zealand)
1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes)
2 Akker van der Merwe (Lions)
3 Paddy Ryan (Waratahs & Australia)
4 Martin Muller (Lions)
5 Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes)
6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes)
7 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders)
8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand)
16 Andrew Ready (Reds)
17 Schalk van der Merwe (Montpellier)
18 Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia)
19 Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia)
20 Ruan Ackermann (Lions)
21 Nic Stirzaker (Rebels)
22 Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders)
23 Luke Morahan (Force & Australia)
Barbarians players Nic Stirzaker, Luke Whitelock, Schalk van der Merwe and Reggies Goodes talk about training this week and what it will be like to face the Springboks.