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Parkes skippers new Barbarians squad for Spain after England win

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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The Barbarians have named a completely new squad to play Spain this weekend following last Sunday’s explosive win over England at Twickenham. A squad led by coach Fabien Galthie took Eddie Jones’ team to the cleaners with a 52-21 victory which was the last match in the professional rugby career of the now-retired George Kruis.

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With Galthie now set to fly to Japan with France for their upcoming Test series in the Far East, former Cardiff coach John Mulvihill now takes over the responsibility for coaching an invitational squad that is completely different from the Top 14-heavy selection that picked off England.

A Barbarians statement read: “Following a huge victory over England on Sunday at Twickenham, the Barbarians have announced a new squad to face Spain. The squad will assemble in Asturias ahead of the match on Saturday, June 25, at Estadio El Molinon in Gijon, kick-off 21:00 local time.

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“Taking the reigns from Fabien Galthie, Australian John Mulvihill will resume his Barbarians coaching position having previously coached the famous Black and White against Australia in 2017. This week’s Barbarians squad features a highly international team, comprising eight nationalities with a blend of youth and experience from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Tonga.

“The side will be led by 29-capped Welsh centre Hadleigh Parkes, currently plying his trade in Japan. Other notable stars alongside him include the 6ft 11in Irish second row Devin Toner (70 caps), England’s back row Tom Wood (50 caps), Wales hooker Scott Baldwin (34 caps), All Black prop Charlie Faumuina (50 caps), Samoan fly-half Tim Nanai-Williams and his fellow countryman and Barbarian stalwart Joe Tekori (37 caps), who has represented the club on six separate occasions.

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“This will be the last game of professional rugby after stellar careers for both clubs and country for Wood, Toner and Tekori. The Barbarians squad will be aiming to give them similar send-offs to that which George Kruis experienced on Sunday at Twickenham. There are strong sporting family representations with cricketer Ian Botham’s grandson James Botham included alongside Fabien Galthie’s son Mathis. The squad has 433 international caps between them with Nanai-Williams, Faumuina and Tekori all representing the club previously.”

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Barbarians president John Spencer said: “We are very much looking forward to this week as we prepare to face Spain next Saturday night. The club is buzzing after a wonderful victory over England on Sunday and this new squad, coached by John, is excited to take up the reins and embody the Barbarians’ ethos and playing style: spirit, passion, courage and flair, united by lifelong friendship.”

BARBARIANS (vs Spain, Saturday)
Forwards:
Ed Byrne (Ireland, Leinster)
Scott Baldwin (Wales, Ospreys)
Charlie Faumuina (New Zealand, Toulouse)
Devin Toner (Ireland, Leinster)
Steve Mafi (Tonga, Oyonnax)
Rob Harley (Scotland, Glasgow)
James Botham (Wales, Cardiff)
Abraham Papali’i (Cannaught)
Kirby Myhill (Wales, Cardiff)
Wiehahn Herbst (Cell C Sharks)
Scott Andrews (Wales, Cardiff)
Joe Tekori (Samoa, Toulouse)
Dan Baker (Wales, Dragons)
Tom Wood (England, Northampton Saints)

Backs:
Sebastian Bezy (France, ASM Clermont)
Tim Nanai-Williams (Samoa, Toulouse)
Seabelo Senatla (DHL Stormers)
Hadleigh Parkes (Wales, Panasonic Wild Knights) – captain
Rey Lee-Lo (Samoa, Cardiff)
Adam Byrne (Ireland, Leinster)
Rhyno Smith (Benneton)
Mathis Galthie (Colomiers)
Ahsee Tuala (Samoa, Northampton Saints)

Coach:
John Mulvihill

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