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Will Skelton becomes first Barbarians player to be sent off

By Kim Ekin
Will Skelton of Barbarians is shown a red card by Referee, Andrea Piardi during the International match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians)

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Giant Australian lock Will Skelton has become the first Barbarians FC player to ever receive a red card.

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England were trailing 19-11 at the interval after a mixed first half consisting of a solitary try for Joe Cokanasiga.

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Tunnel Talk | Scotland’s Chloe Rollie
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The Barbarians led the try count 3-1 but they were reduced to 14 men after the 6 foot 8 inch Skelton was sent off for a shoulder to the head of Patrick Schickerling.

Skelton hit England rookie Schickerling with head high shoulder shot, although he made an effort to wrap and hold the Exeter Chiefs prop upright after the collision.

Ugo Monye observed wryly: “Two yellows in the #GallagherPrem final and Will Skelton gets a red for that. Not surprised at the confusion right now”

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Skelton’s selection has left the invitation side’s French coach Fabien Galthie wondering why the big man isn’t more of a regular fixture still for the Wallabies.

“Will is big and good and clever. I don’t know why he is not an international player now – maybe they manage players in their country, and overseas maybe not – but in this case it is an opportunity for us because Will wanted to play with George Kruis,” said Galthie.

“It is like a present for George because they played at Saracens years ago. It is a nice story.”

Skelton did feature with a 19th cap for Australia in the loss to Scotland at Murrayfield last November, his first appearance in the green and gold for five years.

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Skelton last month led La Rochelle to a 24-21 win against Leinster in the European Champions Cup Final in Marseille, in which he was outstanding.

Australian Jones, defending an unbeaten coaching record for England against the Wallabies, will be hoping to stretch his sequence to 11 straight wins over his home country by winning the July series 3-0.

French players make up 10 of the starting line-up, with captain Charles Ollivon back in international action after being sidelined during the championship with injury.

additional reporting PA and AAP

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