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Barbarians, World XV make two changes each, Koroibete pulls out

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete has pulled out of Steve Hansen’s World XV squad for this Sunday’s Killik Cup clash with Eddie Jones’ Barbarians at Twickenham. The speedster, who last year won his second John Eales medal as Australia’s best rugby player, finished his second club season in Japan last Saturday with defeat in the final with Robbie Deans’ Saitama Wild Knights.

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No exact reason was given as to why Koroibete had to withdraw following his left-wing start in the 15-17 loss to Malcolm Marx’ Kubota Spears in Tokyo, but his place in Hansen’s squad has gone to Kaminieli Rasaku of Bayonne and Fiji 7s. The other addition to the World XV is the retiring Ulster and Ireland back-rower Jordi Murphy.

Another Japanese-based player, Taichi Takahashi, has been added to Jones’ Barbarians, as has the out-of-favour Scotland midfielder Sam Johnson, who is moving on from Glasgow this summer. A statement read: “Sam Johnson and Taichi Takahashi have been added to the Barbarian FC squad for this weekend’s Killik Cup clash at Twickenham Stadium, and Jordi Murphy also joins the World XV.

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“Glasgow Warriors centre Johnson has 27 caps for Scotland to his name, and Toyota Verblitz wing Takahashi made his Japan debut against France last year. Meanwhile, Ulster back row Murphy has earned 31 caps for Ireland and is set to retire from professional rugby this summer.

“Kaminieli Rasaku (Bayonne and Fiji 7s) also replaces Marika Koroibete in the World XV line-up, with the Australian wing forced to withdraw from the fixture. The Killik Cup will be on the line this Sunday when two of the most decorated coaches in world rugby, Eddie Jones (Barbarians) and Steve Hansen (World XV), go head-to-head for an unmissable showdown in London.

“The two squads are jam-packed with world-class talent, with internationals from England, Wales, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Tonga, Japan, Scotland, Fiji and Italy all involved for the blockbuster clash at English Rugby HQ.

“The sides contain a total of 1,345 international caps between them – with 678 for the Barbarians and 667 for the World XV – as well as Rugby World Cup winners, British & Irish Lions tourists, and several returning Barbarians.”

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BARBARIAN FC – Forwards: Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers and England), Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby, Wales, British & Irish Lions), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales, British & Irish Lions), Stephan Lewies (Harlequins and South Africa), Steven Luatua (Bristol Bears and New Zealand), Enrique Pieretto (Glasgow Warriors and Argentina), Carlu Sadie (Cell C Sharks), Rob Simmons (London Irish and Australia), Harry Thacker (Bristol Bears), Sione Vailanu (Glasgow Warriors and Tonga), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons Rugby and Wales), Alex Waller (Northampton Saints), Tom West (Leicester Tigers), Kai Yamamoto (Tokyo Sungoliath)

Backs: Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys and Wales), Quade Cooper (Hanazono Kintetsu Liners and Australia), Aaron Cruden (Tokyo Sungoliath and New Zealand), Francois Hougaard (Saracens and South Africa), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland), Samu Kerevi (Tokyo Sungoliath and Australia), Tevita Li (Tokyo Sungoliath), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs and England), Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons and England), Taichi Takahashi (Toyota Verblitz and Japan), Seta Tamanivalu (Toshiba Brave Lupus and Fiji)

WORLD XV – Forwards: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland), Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby and Italy), Elliot Dee (Dragons Rugby and Wales), Allan Dell (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland), Harry Hockings (Tokyo Sungoliath), Wyn Jones (Scarlets Rugby, Wales, British & Irish Lions), Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland), Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby and Italy), Viliame Mata (Edinburgh Rugby and Fiji), Jordi Murphy (Ulster Rugby and Ireland), Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby and Italy), Api Ratuniyarawa (Irish and Fiji), Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)

Backs: Bryn Hall (Shizuoka Blue Revs), Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby and Scotland), Israel Folau (Urayasu D-Rocks and Tonga), Ngani Laumape (Kobelco Kobe Steelers and New Zealand), Sbu Nkosi (Vodacom Bulls and South Africa), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets Rugby and Wales), Nick Phipps (Green Rockets Tokatsu and Australia), Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears and Tonga), Semi Radradra (Bristol Bears and Fiji), Kaminieli Rasaku (Aviron Bayonnais and Fiji 7s)

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