Another batch of Super Rugby stars have been added to the Barbarians squad that will take on South Africa, Fiji and the Czech Republic next month. Today a group of up and comers were picked to join the squad for the opening match against the Springboks on November 5th.
Wembley Stadium will host the match, and today it’s been announced that some top New Zealand talent will bolster the forwards in the form of Hurricanes Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa and Reggie Goodes, and Crusaders Richard Mo’unga and Jordan Taufua.
From the Highlanders speedster Matt Faddes is in the backs, while Luke Whitelock joins the pack.
New Zealand’s Andy Ellis, and Australia’s Taquele Naiyaravoro and Will Skelton are already in the squad being put together by coaches Robbie Deans and Will Greenwood as the famous invitation club targets a hat-trick of wins over the side now ranked fourth in the world.
After taking on South Africa at Wembley, the Barbarians play the Czech Republic in Prague on November 8 before facing Fiji at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on November 11.
Deans said: “This is a talented group of young men with the potential to play at the very highest level and they will all be hungry to impress in their time with the Barbarians. Alongside the more experienced players in the squad we should have a very competitive group.”
Shields is closing in on an All Blacks place after starring in the Hurricanes back row alongside Victor Vito and Ardie Savea this year, Goodes has made 60 Super Rugby appearances as a mobile prop while lock Fatialofa enjoyed a breakthrough first Super Rugby season with 15 appearances.
Talented young fly half Mo’unga is the successor to Dan Carter at the Crusaders and his teammate Taufua is rated as a back row competitor to the All Blacks’ Jerome Kaino.
The Highlanders – Super Rugby champions in 2015 – provide free-scoring centre Faddes and No.8 Whitelock, who was capped by New Zealand in 2013.
The Barbarians take on South Africa for the eighth time since 1952 and lead the series 4-3 after victories in 2007 and 2010.
In 2007 the Barbarians were the first side to beat the newly-crowned World Champions with a 22-5 win that saw Australia’s Matt Giteau and Rocky Elsom, and Wales’s Martyn Williams touch down.
Barbarians vs Springboks – November 5th – Wembley Stadium, London
Barbarians vs Czech Republic – November 8th – Prague
Barbarians vs Fiji – November 11th – Belfast