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Barbarians name exciting squad to take on Fiji

There are eight All Blacks included in the invitational side’s latest star-studded group.

'Boks captain Jean de Villiers is in.
'Boks captain Jean de Villiers is in.
Image: Themba Hadebe/AP/Press Association Images

THE BARBARIANS HAVE named a 23-man squad to play Fiji at Twickenham on the 30th of November, with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen set to take charge.

The Kiwi boss will have eight of his own players to work with, in Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, Tom Taylor, Keven Mealamu, Dominic Bird, Steven Luatua, Luke Whitelock and TJ Perenara.

There are also eight of the current South Africa squad involved, including Jean de Villers, Bismark du Plessis and exciting fullback Willie Le Roux. Argentina will have five players in the Baabaas set-up for the clash with Fiji, most notably the gifted Santiago Cordero.

The ‘wildcard’ selections include South African legend Schalk Burger and Samoan veteran centre Gavin Williams. New Zealand scrum-half Perenara fulfills the traditional role of the one uncapped player in the Barbarians squad.

Overall, it’s a hugely exciting selection for Hansen to choose from. A back three made up of Le Roux, Piuatu, Halai and Cordero would cause any team serious defensive trouble, and given the Fijians’ free-running style of rugby, this should make for a thrilling spectacle.

Oftentimes in the recent past, the Barbarians have fielded weakened and uninterested teams, but this encounter in London should be able to reverse the trend in front of an expected crowd of over 60,000.

This particular fixture celebrates the centenary season of the Fiji Rugby Union, with the Killik Cup up for grabs.

Barbarians (v Fiji): Willie le Roux (South Africa), Santiago Cordero (Argentina), Charles Piutau (New Zealand), Frank Halai (New Zealand), Jean de Villiers (South Africa), Gavin Williams (Samoa), Patrick Lambie (South Africa), Tom Taylor (New Zealand), T J Perenara (Hurricanes), Martin Landajo (Argentina).

Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa), Guillermo Roan (Argentina), Coenie Oosthuizen (South Africa), Matias Diaz (Argentina), Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Dominic Bird (New Zealand), Manuel Carizza (Argentina), Steven Luatua (New Zealand), Luke Whitelock (New Zealand), Schalk Burger (South Africa), Duane Vermeulen (South Africa).

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