16 November 2019 18:44
Joe Marler is one of two English players named in the Barbarians' starting XV for Sunday's annual fixture against England at Twickenham. Harlequins prop Marler makes his first appearance against the team he served over 59 caps until announcing his international retirement last year in order to spend more time with his family. Gloucester's hard running inside centre Mark Atkinson honours the Barbarians' tradition of picking an uncapped player and he pairs up with New Zealand's Malakai Fekitoa in midfield. The invitational side contains a total of 478 caps compared to the five contained in the England XV's starting line-up – all of which are held by No8 Teimana Harrison. "Playing for the Barbarians is huge for me," Marler said.
"But for me, it still has an important place in professional rugby. "You need to have an opportunity to enjoy rugby for the reasons you started playing for. BARBARIANS: C Piutau (Bristol Bears & New Zealand); N Adeolokun (Connacht & Ireland), M Fekitoa (Toulon & New Zealand), M Atkinson (Gloucester), T Naiyaravoro (Northampton Saints & Australia); C Slade (Pau & New Zealand), R Webb (Toulon & Wales); J Marler (Harlequins & England), R Hibbard (Dragons & Wales), J Afoa (Bristol Bears & New Zealand), J Horwill (Harlequins & Australia, capt), C Vui (Bristol Bears & Samoa), S Luatua (Bristol Bears & New Zealand), F Louw (Bath & South Africa), V Mata (Edinburgh & Fiji). Reps: D Heffernan (Connacht & Ireland), P Schoeman (Edinburgh), F Bealham (Connacht & Ireland), F Isa (Toulon & Argentina), L Messam (Toulon & New Zealand), R Williams (Dragons & Wales), B James (Bordeaux Begles), F Nakosi (Toulon). Sign up to our mailing list here and we'll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) Ben Curry (Sale Sharks) Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby) Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby) Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks) Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints) Paul Hill (Northampton Saints) Beno Obano (Bath Rugby) Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints) Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby) Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints) Piers O'Conor (Bristol Bears) Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears) Ben White (Leicester Tigers) Pat Lam, the Barbarians head coach, has revealed that Danny Cipriani was considered to play for the side against England on Sunday before the Barbarians were informed he was unavailable for selection. The Gloucester fly-half was part of a group of potential Barbarians players who were not given permission by their respective unions to play for the side with the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, suggesting that Cipriani will be named in England's Rugby World Cup training squad. "[Cipriani] was unavailable because there are some players that want to play, but they have to be signed off by the unions, or their clubs," Lam said. Wales are preparing an historic Barbarians double-header at the Principality Stadium this autumn. Warren Gatland is in line to coach the Barbarians men in Wayne Pivac's first Wales match in charge after the World Cup in Japan.
The Barbarians are also set to face Wales women for the first time with the date of 30 November pencilled in. Jasmine Joyce and Elinor Snowsill have been named in the Barbarians squad to face England on 2 June. That game is a double header at Twickenham with the women's game kicking off at 12:45 and the uncapped men's game at 15:30 against an England XV. Media playback is not supported on this device Wales legend Liza Burgess feels Barbarians double-header can benefit women's rugby The Barbarians are an invitational team which has been playing national sides on a regular basis since 1948. The Barbarians women began life with wins over Munster and the British Army in 2017-18 but only played their first international in April 2019. Marist loose forward Brad Whyte in action against Eastern Northern Barbarians at Gore. After racking up 10 straight wins in Southland's premier competition defending champions Marist met its match on Thursday night in Gore. The Eastern-Northern Barbarians led Marist 9-7 at halftime before running out 24-12 winners in a performance which not surprisingly pleased coach Nathan Howden. * Club Rugby: Stag Lewis Ormond suffers knee injury * Edendale Rugby Club's stats man set for 200-game milestone Every other team had tried and failed to beat Marist this season and the Barbarians' victory has lifted them into the top four of the Galbraith Shield competition. Marist still sit clear at the top of the standings, but just five competition points separate second-placed Blues and Woodlands in fifth. Pirates-Old Boys is in sixth spot on two competition points. Pirates-Old Boys has been bolstered in recent weeks with the inclusion of some new players, including Stags wing Isaac Te Tamaki. They pushed Blues in the game played at the Les George Oval on Thursday night but came up short losing 10-0. Thursday night's game marked the return of Stags halfback Jay Renton who lined up for Blues after recovering from a hip injury. Although it was a case of one halfback in and one out for Blues with Oscar Kanfonoga suffering a season-ending injury in the game. Star banked an important 23-14 victory over Woodlands in the game played at Woodlands on Saturday. It was not just competition points at stake with the two teams squaring off for the Scruffy Butt Memorial Shield which Woodlands held before Thursday night. In the Ack Soper Shield competition Wyndham continue to firm as favorites on the back of a 31-0 win over Waikaka on Thursday night.