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Roberts, Halfpenny and Powell named in Barbarians squad

23 November 2009

  • Wales trio named in Barbarians squad to face New Zealand
  • Lions centre Roberts teaming up with rival Fourie in midfield
Leigh Halfpenny of Wales is tackled by Mark Cueto of England

Photo: Getty Images

Three British and Irish Lions and current Wales internationals – Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny and Andy Powell – have been called up to the Barbarians' 22-man squad to play New Zealand in the MasterCard Trophy Match at Twickenham on Saturday 5 December. 

The clash, for which 60,000 tickets have been sold, will see Roberts in a centre pairing with his Springbok opposite number from the Summer’s Lions series, Jaque Fourie, and promises to be a feast of running rugby in the true Barbarians’ style.

The three Welshmen join a world class Barbarians squad, including Joe Rokocoko who in a reversal of his appearance for the All Blacks against the Barbarians in 2004, will be playing against the men in black for the first time.

In the time-honoured Barbarians tradition, the team includes one uncapped player and the man in the spotlight this time is WP Nel. The South African prop has had a stellar year with the Free State Cheetahs which culminated in his Curry Cup final appearance last month. Nel will line up with his South African compatriot Tendai Mtawarira, better known as ‘The Beast’, in the Barbarians front row and will be sure to push the Kiwi scrum for the whole 80 minutes.

Other stars confirmed include Wallabies Matt Giteau, George Smith, Drew Mitchell and Rocky Elsom and Springboks Bryan Habana, Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez and Victor Matfield.

Matfield, Roberts and Halfpenny will be making their Baa-Baas' debuts but several others on both sides will be no strangers to the unique atmosphere and challenge of a Barbarians versus touring team encounter.

Barbarians Squad, Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Bryan Habana (South Africa), Joe Rokocoko (New Zealand), Drew Mitchell (Australia), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Jaque Fourie (South Africa), Morne Steyn (South Africa), Matt Giteau (Australia), Fourie du Preez (South Africa), Will Genia (Australia).

Forwards: Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), Stephen Moore (Australia), Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa), W P Nel (Free State Cheetahs), Salvatore Perugini (Italy), Victor Matfield (South Africa), Danie Rossouw (South Africa), Carlo del Fava (Italy), Rocky Elsom (Australia), Schalk Burger (South Africa), George Smith (Australia), Andy Powell (Wales).

Tickets are still available online, or by telephone 0844 847 2492. Prices range from £35 to £65 for adults, £17.50 to £32.50 for juniors (under-16) and special family tickets (two adults, two juniors) at £31.25.