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Barbarians name an Australian-dominated squad to play Northampton

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians)

The Barbarians have confirmed the 25-strong squad they have assembled in England for a tour that starts at Northampton on Saturday and moves onto Bristol on September 7.

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It was June when it was confirmed that Australian quartet Jason Gilmore, Berrick Barnes, Nathan Grey and Laurie Fisher would take charge of the invitational side, and they have now named their squad for this weekend’s Franklin’s Gardens game which includes 13 players who started for Australia A last weekend in Paris.

The Wallabies reserves squad overturned a 12-14 half-time deficit to beat Rugby World Cup qualifiers Portugal 30-17 and only Pete Samu and Bernard Foley from that starting XV have not followed on to represent the Barbarians.

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Seventeen of the players included by Gilmore and co are attached to Australian Super Rugby Pacific clubs, with eight Japanese-based players making up the remainder of the squad.

A Northampton statement read: “The Barbarians, the world’s most famous invitational side, head to Northampton for a second time in successive seasons to lock horns on Saturday with the kick-off time set for 2pm.

“Saints ran out 45-39 winners on a memorable afternoon when the sides met for the first time ever back in November 2022 – with likes of Saints legends Tom Wood and Luther Burrell joining international stars Danny Cipriani, Owen Williams and Francois Hougaard in the famous Black and White hooped jerseys.

“The Baa-Baas will once again be packed full of international-quality talent for this weekend’s match in Northampton, with 10 players capped by Australia as well as five capped by Japan named in the squad.

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“Wallaby backs James O’Connor (72 caps), Tom Wright (25 caps), Hunter Paisami (24 caps) and Harry Wilson (12 caps) are all included by the invitational side, with former Saint Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (30 caps) also making a return to the hallowed cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens turf after departing the club at the end of last season.

“Ryohei Yamanaka (21 caps) and Kaito Shigeno (13 caps) headline the list of Japanese internationals, with the Barbarians set to be led by an Australian coaching quartet of Jason Gilmore, Laurie Fisher, Berrick Barnes, and Nathan Grey.”

Barbarians (vs Northampton, Saturday)
Forwards (14):
Josh Canham (Melbourne Rebels, Australia A)
Harry Johnson-Holmes (NSW Waratahs)
Kenta Kobayashi (Tokyo Sungoliath)
Tom Lambert (NSW Waratahs)
Lachlan Lonergan (ACT Brumbies, Australia)
Faulua Makisi (Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay, Japan)
Shunta Nakamura (Suntory Sungoliath, Japan U20s)
Cadeyrn Neville (ACT Brumbies, Australia)
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Melbourne Rebels, Australia)
Kanji Shimokawa (Suntory Sungoliath, Japan)
Lachlan Swinton (NSW Waratahs, Australia)
Sam Talakai (Melbourne Rebels, Australia)
Seru Uru (Queensland Reds, Australia A)
Harry Wilson (Queensland Reds, Australia)

Backs (11):
Lachie Anderson (Melbourne Rebels, Australia A)
Filipo Daugunu (Queensland Reds, Australia)
Ryan Lonergan (ACT Brumbies, Australia A)
Nicholas McCurran (Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo)
James O’Connor (Queensland Reds, Australia)
Hunter Paisami (Queensland Reds, Australia)
Dylan Pietsch (NSW Waratahs, Australia A)
Kaito Shigeno (Toyota Verblitz, Japan)
Taichi Takahashi (Toyota Verblitz, Japan)
Tom Wright (ACT Brumbies, Australia)
Ryohei Yamanaka (Kobelco Kobe Steelers, Japan)

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Red and White Dynamight 4 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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