- This game will set the foundations for our tour – Lancaster
- Mike Tindall prepares for Twickenham swansong
Photo: Getty Images
As scorching temperatures herald the final weekend of the domestic campaign, Twickenham prepares to play host to the traditional end-of-season fixture between England and the Barbarians that will decide the fate of the Killik Cup.
Led by Saracens’ most decorated Springbok John Smit, the invitational side's line-up boasts a host of stellar names. All Blacks Mils Muliaina and John Afoa add some World Cup-winning class, while Mike Tindall, Paul Sackey and Ian Balshaw return to HQ to face old friends in Barbarians colours. As always, spectators can expect some expansive play from rugby’s most famous club.
On the other hand, England will be looking to perfect their structure and set-piece just a matter of days before they board the plane to South Africa. Stuart Lancaster has handed maiden senior starts to back row pair Carl Fearns and Tom Johnson and wing Christian Wade in a strong, exciting team selection that will be boosted later in the game with the likes of Joe Launchbury and Alex Goode among the replacements.
Northampton No.8 Phil Dowson leads England and only a win will do for the men in white as they look to start the summer with an eye-catching performace.
- When? Sunday, May 27
- Where? Twickenham Stadium
- Kick-off? 2.30pm
Photo: Getty Images
How to keep up with the action
- Live on Sky Sports 4 and Sky Sports 4 HD from 2pm
- Live score updates from Official_RFU on Twitter
- Match report, post-match interviews and highlights on RFU.com
England: 15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), 14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), 13 Brad Barritt (Saracens), 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens), 11 Christian Wade (London Wasps), 10 Charlie Hodgson (Saracens), 9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints); 1 Matt Stevens (Saracens), 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), 3 Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), 4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens), 5 Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), 6 Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), 7 Carl Fearns (Bath), 8 Phil Dowson (captain, Northampton Saints).
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears (Bath), 17 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), 18 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), 19 Jamie Gibson (London Irish), 20 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), 21 Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), 22 Alex Goode (Saracens).
Barbarians: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Ian Balshaw; 10 Stephen Donald, 9. Rory Lawson; 1. Neemia Tialata, 2. John Smit (captain), 3. John Afoa, 4. Mark Chisholm, 5. Anton van Zyl, 6. John Beattie, 7. Akapusi Qera, 8. Ernst Joubert.
Replacements: 16. Benoit August, 17. Duncan Jones, 18. Pelu Taele, 19. Raphael Lakafia, 20. Jerome Fillol, 21. Felipe Contepomi, 22. Sailosi Tagicakibau.
Quotes from the camps
Stuart Lancaster (England head coach): “We are treating this as a very important game for setting the foundations for the tour. The players have been excellent this week and have been fully focussed as we are looking to build on the momentum of the Six Nations. This is a really important milestone in our preparation for South Africa.
“With the Leicester and Harlequins players unavailable it's a great opportunity for those other players involved in the Six Nations to lead the way. Some of the younger players have a chance to put a marker down and get their first taste of international rugby
Mike Tindall (Barbarians inside centre): “It will be great to play against England and just to experience something totally different. People have been talking about whether I have a point to prove but it's not like that. It's a different team that's going in a different direction and that's fine. That's the thing about sport – it moves on.
“I'm just going to enjoy myself, and enjoy the experience of playing alongside some great players. Hopefully we can click quickly and do some damage.”
Last five meetings
- 2011 England 32-38 Barbarians
- 2010 England 35-26 Barbarians
- 2009 England 26-35 Barbarians
- 2008 England 17-14 Barbarians
- 2006 England 46-19 Barbarians