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Saturday Nov 27, 2021

WATCH: Rob Kearney career highlights ahead of Baa-Baas bow out

Ireland legend Rob Kearney is due to play his last game of professional rugby for the Barbarians on Saturday against Samoa.

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The 35-year-old announced his decision on Twitter earlier in the week saying that the veteran full back has always dreamed of playing for the invitational side.

Kearney signed for the Western Force in 2020 having spent 15 years at Leinster and with 95 Tests for Ireland he’s the country’s most capped full back in history.

Kearney also has a further three Test appearances for the British & Irish Lions and produced an iconic performance in 2009 during the second Test against the Springboks.

Ahead of Saturday’s game at Twickenham, Barbarians head coach Dave Rennie said: “We’ve had a great week – a good combination of work on the pitch, connection and fun. They guys have come together as a strong group and we’re all focused on tomorrow.

“We’ve got eight different countries represented in our squad and the diversity, different levels of experience and different playing styles have really combined to create an exciting line-up.

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“We plan to get out there and play some champagne rugby against a strong Samoan side and give the fans a great show.”

TEAMS

Barbarians: 15. Tom Wright (Australia, ACT Brumbies), 14. Marcos Moneta (Argentina, San Andres), 13. Len Ikitau (Australia, ACT Brumbies), 12. Ryoto Nakamura (Japan, Tokyo Sungoliath), 11. Filipo Daugunu (Australia, Queensland Reds), 10. James O’Connor (Australia, Queensland Reds), 9. Nic White (Australia, ACT Brumbies); 1. Steven Kitshoff (South Africa, DHL Stormers), 2. Malcolm Marx (South Africa, Kubota Spears), 3. Shinnosuke Kakinaga (Japan, Tokyo Sungoliath), 4. Rob Leota (Australia, Melbourne Rebels), 5. Naohiro Kotaki (Japan, Kobelco Kobe Steelers), 6. Ryan Wilson (Scotland, Glasgow Warriors), 7. Pete Samu (Australia, ACT Brumbies), 8. Duane Vermeulen (South Africa, Ulster Rugby)

Replacements: 16. Kosuke Horikoshi (Japan, Tokyo Sungoliath), 17. Angus Bell (Australia, NSW Waratahs), 18. Gia Kharaishvili (Georgia, Racing 92), 19. Rodrigo Fernandez Criado (Belgrano Athletic), 20. Olly Robinson (Cardiff RFC), 21. Tate McDermott (Australia, Queensland Reds), 22. Izaia Perese (Australia, NSW Waratahs), 23. Rob Kearney (Ireland)

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Samoa: 15. Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 14. Elijah Niko, 13. Opetera Peleseuma, 12. Parataiso Silafai-Leaana, 11. Sinoti Sinoti, 10. AJ Alatimu, 9. Nigel Hunt; 1. Aki Seiuli, 2. John Ulugia, 3. Paul Alo-Emile, 4. Ben Nee-Nee, 5. Joe Tekori, 6. Mikaele Tapili, 7. Talalelei Gray, 8. Abraham Papali’i.

Replacements: 16. Albert Onele’i, 17. Sakaria Taulafo, 18. Michael Alaalatoa, 19. Salo Tutaia, 20. Senio Toleafoa, 21. Reece Anapu, 22. Aviata Silago, 23. Alexander Luatua.

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