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Barbarians name team for Swansea, reveal wicked AWJ twist

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Welsh legend Alun Wyn Jones is back in the Barbarians line-up to face Swansea on Wednesday, three days after he was twice foiled in his attempt to convert a try at Twickenham. The 37-year-old, who recently called time on his record-breaking Test rugby career, was skipper of the Baa-Baas selection coached by Eddie Jones in their thrilling 48-42 win over Steve Hansen’s World XV.

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That fixture in front of 33,000 in London ended with Jones trying – and failing – to land the conversion kicks for the final two Barbarians tries. However, while coach Jones flew home to Australia on Monday and most of the star-studded Baa-Baas XV dispersed elsewhere following their Killik Cup success, the second row Jones headed to Wales with the likes of props Oli Kebble and Enrique Pieretto to continue the end-of-season adventure.

Along with Sione Vailanu, who was a sub at Twickenham, they have now joined together with a new collection of Barbarians for the midweek match celebrating the 150th anniversary of Swansea RFC.

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The Barbarians experience is second to none | Being Barbarians

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Ex-Cardiff boss John Mulvihill, who coached the Baa-Baas for their three-game English club tour after Scott Roberston’s XV had defeated an All Blacks XV at Tottenham in November, is back in charge for the game at St Helens and he has included the likes of Billy Twelvetrees and Dan Lydiate in a team that also features Bradley Davies in his final match before retirement.

Jones played for Swansea during the early part of his career and Mulvihill has revealed an intriguing plan has been hatched to enable the 170-cap legend to change sides at half-time.

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“After 17 years (of Test rugby), he got his first Barbarians call-up and he has got his second one Wednesday,” quipped Mulvihill. “You will probably see him in an all-whites jersey in the second half. He might lead the Swansea team out at half-time.

“I was still taken aback that he wanted to play. He said: ‘It’s in my parish and I want to play against my team’. It means a lot to him. I don’t think it’s going to be his sign-off. He has got a few miles to go yet.”

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BARBARIANS (vs Swansea, Wednesday): 15. Damien Hoyland; 14. Tom Howe, 13. Rey Lee-Lo, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Alex Wootton; 10. Stephen Shingler, 9. Lewis Jones; 1. Oli Kebble, 2. Kirby Myhill, 3. Enrique Pieretto, 4. Bradley Davies, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Olly Robinson, 8. Sione Vailanu. Reps: 16. Elvis Taione, 17. D’Arcy Rae, 18. Murray McCallum, 19. Matthew Screech, 20. Sam Cross, 21. Harri Morgan, 22. Lloyd Williams, 23. Billy Searle, 24. Takahashi Taichi.

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