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'He'll light up the attack': Barbarians name Ollivon as skipper

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

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France captain Charles Ollivon will lead the Barbarians in their non-cap international against England at Twickenham on Sunday week. The back-rower was Les Bleus skipper until suffering a serious knee injury a year ago and while he has since made a successful comeback, he was forced to miss the autumn campaign and the recent Guinness Six Nations.

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The Toulon back row will be joined by French Grand Slam winner Damian Penaud, who covers wing and centre. It will be the first appearance for the famous international club for both players. 

France’s Fabien Galthie is the Barbarians’ head coach on this occasion and the full squad is due to be announced on Monday when all players and coaching staff will assemble for the pre-match camp.

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INSIDE THE BARBARIANS | Go behind the scenes with one of the most iconic rugby clubs in the world

A Barbarians statement read: “Back row Ollivon, who has been with French Top 14 club Toulon since 2015, was named captain of the French men’s national team in January 2020 by Galthie and in his first game as captain, he scored two tries against England in the 24-17 victory. 

“He will be relishing the opportunity to face Eddie Jones’ England once again. Most recently, he captained Toulon to the final of the EPCR Challenge Cup where they were beaten in Marseille by Lyon.

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“Clermont back Penaud first played for France in 2017 and has been part of the growing success of the national team, winning the 2022 Guinness Six Nations and scoring tries against Italy and Scotland on their way to a Grand Slam. He has been with Clermont since 2016, winning the Top 14 in 2017 and the Challenge Cup in 2019.

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“Known for his speed and power, he will light up the attack to help deliver the flair and free rugby for which the Barbarians are known.”

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