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Barbarians name first batch of players to take on Clontarf next week

Mike Ruddock will coach the invitational side in their one-off match against the AIL club on the 23rd of April.

Ireland U20s and Lansdowne coach Mike Ruddock will take charge of the Barbarians.
Ireland U20s and Lansdowne coach Mike Ruddock will take charge of the Barbarians.
Image: CameraSport/Chris Vaughan/INPHO

THE BARBARIANS HAVE revealed the first batch of players who will line out for the famous invitational side in a clash against Clontarf at Castle Avenue on Wednesday the 23rd of April [KO 5.30pm].

35-times capped Wales international out-half Ceri Sweeney, currently contracted to Premiership side Exeter Chiefs, is perhaps the most well-known name among the list.

The backline outside him will include Kiwi clubmate Jason Shoemark, who previously made appearances for the Highlanders and the Blues in Super Rugby, while former Bath centre Tom Cheeseman will provide a physical presence in midfield.

Namibian international Ryan de la Harpe is available as competition to ex-Leicester and Newcastle man James Grindal at scrum-half for a clash that has been titled ‘The Battle of Clontarf’.

38-year-old Ben Evans, who won 27 caps for Wales, offers experience in the front row, while South African prop Lorne Ward – once of Toulon – will test the home team’s scrummaging power.

Former Clontarf man Peter Synnott, a place-kicking flanker, will be among the back row options for the Mike Ruddock-coached BaaBaas. Synnott is a graduate of Belvedere College, and should enjoy the challenge of playing against familiar faces.

Barbarians team manager Phil Orr expects to make additions to this initial selection in the following days, with further Irish influence expected to come in the shape of several leading AIL players from clubs other than Clontarf.

Barbarians confirmed to play Clontarf: Ben Evans [Moseley], Laurence Ovens [Rosslyn Park], Thomas Andrew Bryn Jones [Llandrovery], Lorne Ward [Rosslyn Park], Rob Elloway [Cornish Pirates], Haydn Pugh [Carmarthen Quins], Mike Powell [Moseley], Sasha Harding [Bedford Blues], Peter Synnott [Esher], Ryan de la Harpe [Flyde], James Grindal [Bristol], Ceri Sweeney [Exeter Chiefs], Jason Shoemark [Exeter Chiefs], Fraser Harkness [Selkirk], Tom Cheeseman [Esher].

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Murray Kinsella

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