Skelton and Kruis to join forces in Baa-Baas engineroom
French head coach Fabien Galthié is at the helm of the Barbarians and so it comes as no surprise that his coaching staff have selected a squad filled with Top 14 talent.
Charles Ollivon will captain the famous Black and White and will make his debut for them alongside French teammate and Clermont winger Damien Penaud. Joining the Toulon talisman and former French captain in the starting pack is Will Skelton, fresh off his Champions Cup win with La Rochelle, his teammate and Fijian captain Levani Botia, Lyon’s back row star Dylan Cretin and former England international George Kruis, who is returning from Japan.
Kruis left Saracens in 2020 to join the Saitama Wild Knights and is returning to Europe, having just won the inaugural Japan Rugby League One with the side. He announced a few months ago that he would retire come the end of the season and so this Barbarians appearance could prove to be one of his last in professional rugby.
The team is predominantly filled with fringe international players alongside a few big names.
The full squad selected is listed below:
15 Max Spring (France, Racing 92), 14 Damien Penaud (France, Clermont), 13 Virimi Vakatawa (France, Racing 92), 12 Tani Vili (France, Clermont), 11 Davit Niniashvili (Georgia, Lyon), 10 Antoine Hastoy (France, Pau), 9 Batiste Couilloud (France, Lyon), 8 Charles Ollivon (France, Toulon, c), 7 Levani Botia (Fiji, La Rochelle), 6 Dylan Cretin (France, Lyon), 5 Will Skelton (Australia, La Rochelle), 4 George Kruis (England, Saitama Wild Knights), 3 Trevor Nyakane (South Africa, Racing 92), 2 Pierre Bourgarit (France, La Rochelle), 1 Jean-Baptiste Gros (France, Toulon)
Replacements: 16 Danny Priso (France, La Rochelle), 17 Christopher Tolofua (France, Toulon), 18 Sipili Falatea (France, Clermont), 19 Thomas Lavault (La Rochelle), 20 Yoan Tanga (France, Racing 92), 21 Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 92), 22 Louis Carbonel (France, Toulon), 23 Sekou Macalou (France, Stade Français), 24 Thomas Laclayat (Oyonnax)
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