The Barbarians have a rich history of playing beautifully dynamic and exciting rugby, pulling off some incredibly high-scoring victories against some of the world’s greatest international teams.
There is that famous victory against the mighty All Black back in 1973, and much more recently defeating world cup finalists England in their Twickenham stronghold just last weekend.
Their side last week resembled that of a traditional ‘French Barbarians’ side, with 10 of the starting 15 having played for the France national side. After much discussion as to whether or not the choice of mainly using players from one country was within the Barbarian’s ethos, they certainly put to bed any nay-sayers with a thoroughly entertaining and impressive performance.
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This time around the black and whites have opted for a much more varied squad with no fewer than 9 different nationalities making up the 23-man squad.
The Barbarians take on the much improved Spain this Saturday. Spain having recently been removed from the 2023 world cup due to ineligibility issues will be looking to put out a major performance against world-class opposition.
Spains world-class opposition will be captained by the ex-Wales player, Hadleigh Parkes. Parkes has been playing his most recent rugby over in the upcoming Japanese league for the Panasonic Wild Knights. Having not played international rugby since turning out for Wales in 2020, this will be a huge occasion for the centre.
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Much like George Kruis last weekend, there will be a big send-off for 50-cap England back-rower Tom Wood as he gets his final international call-up after announcing his retirement earlier this year.
Same is to be said for big Devin Toner, the Irish lock called his time on professional rugby at the end of the past season. After 16 years at Irish province Leinster, this will be an emotional parting for the 70-cap Irish legend.
Plenty of big names to look at this weekend, see the full squad below:
BARBARIANS (vs Spain, Saturday)
Ed Byrne (Ireland, Leinster)
Scott Baldwin (Wales, Ospreys)
Charlie Faumuina (New Zealand, Toulouse)
Devin Toner (Ireland, Leinster)
Steve Mafi (Tonga, Oyonnax)
Rob Harley (Scotland, Glasgow)
James Botham (Wales, Cardiff)
Abraham Papali’i (Cannaught)
Kirby Myhill (Wales, Cardiff)
Wiehahn Herbst (Cell C Sharks)
Scott Andrews (Wales, Cardiff)
Joe Tekori (Samoa, Toulouse)
Dan Baker (Wales, Dragons)
Tom Wood (England, Northampton Saints)
Sebastian Bezy (France, ASM Clermont)
Tim Nanai-Williams (Samoa, Toulouse)
Seabelo Senatla (DHL Stormers)
Hadleigh Parkes (Wales, Panasonic Wild Knights) – captain
Rey Lee-Lo (Samoa, Cardiff)
Adam Byrne (Ireland, Leinster)
Rhyno Smith (Benneton)
Mathis Galthie (Colomiers)
Ahsee Tuala (Samoa, Northampton Saints)