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Barbarians v South Africa preview

All Black Andy Ellis will lead out a Barbarians team with plenty of Super Rugby experience when they take on South Africa at Wembley tomorrow.

Ellis is joined by fellow All Blacks Seta Tamanivalu and Luke Whitelock in the starting XV, as well as giant Wallaby wing Taquele Naiaravoro and Australian prop Paddy Ryan.

There are six South Africans picked to face their homeland, Stormers fly-half Robert du Preez, Lions hooker Akker van der Merwe, Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes and Lions lock Martin Muller all start with young Lions flanker Ruan Ackermann and Montpellier prop Schalk van der Merwe on the bench.

Former Australia Head Coach Robbie Deans has enlisted former England World Cup winner, Will Greenwood, to coach the backs and the pair have plenty of experience to bring off the bench including Wallabies Toby Smith, Sam Carter and Luke Morahan.

Captain Ellis played in 2010 when the Barbarians last defeated the Springboks 26-20, the teams have faced each other seven times in total with South Africa winning three to the Barbarians four.

“It was a pretty special moment beating South Africa last time,” he said. “It’s a beautiful thing. You make friendships. I’m still in touch with the guys I played with in 2010.

“This new team has come together, we’re getting on well and we’re having fun and now it’s just about fronting up and making sure we perform at the weekend. We understand how proud the Barbarians are and we’ve got a real job to do here.

“The guys want to play for themselves, for the club, for their families – all sorts of different motivations but we’re in a pretty good place. Boks taking on the Boks helps. They’ll certainly want to prove themselves.”

Springbok Coach Allister Coetzee has opted to rest a number of his star players, but has given an opportunity to several impressive players from the Lions who reached the Super Rugby final.

Captain Adriaan Strauss is rested with his shirt given to the impressive Malcolm Marx, who made his Test debut coming off the bench against the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship.

Uncapped centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg will be looking to show the coaching staff that he can offer direct running and a power game that has been unmatched in Super Rugby this season.

Experienced players Tendai Mtawarira, Jesse Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Teboho Mohojé and Pat Lambie, who captains the side, will be looking to rediscover some form before they take on England next week.

On the bench, Trevor Nyakane and Ruan Combrinck will want to get on and prove that they should start at Twickenham, while Eben Etzebeth offers some firepower if things don’t go to plan at Wembley.

“The Barbarians play an attacking, adventurous style of rugby and it will be a real test for our young side,” said Coetzee.

“They have an excellent, world-renowned coach in Robbie Deans, exciting young players in their side, including some South Africans, as well as several players who have a lot of Test match experience.

“We rewarded several young players for their performances in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup and we will approach this match as a test, although no caps will be awarded.

“It will be a really big occasion for our young players, but we’re excited to be giving them an opportunity. Even though some of the experienced players were last in action against New Zealand four weeks ago, our preparation the past few weeks was really good.

“The excitement and enthusiasm of the new inclusions is contagious. In ideal circumstances I would’ve preferred to give every player in the squad a run, but this tour was also about introducing players who are on our radar for the future, while also introducing them to the Springbok way and ethos. I am sure they will work even harder to stay in the squad.”

Barbarians: Melani Nanai (Blues); Matt Faddes (Highlanders), Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders, 3 NZ Caps), Richard Buckman (Highlanders), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs, 2 Aus Caps); Robert du Preez (Stormers), Andy Ellis (C)(Crusaders, 28 NZ Caps); Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes), Akker van der Merwe (Lions), Paddy Ryan (Waratahs, 3 Aus Caps); Martin Muller (Lions), Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes); Brad Shields (Hurricanes), Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), Luke Whitelock (Highlanders, 1 NZ Cap)

Replacements: Andrew Ready (Reds), Schalk van der Merwe (Montpellier), Toby Smith (Rebels, 4 Aus Caps), Sam Carter (Brumbies, 13 Aus Caps), Ruan Ackermann (Lions), Nic Stirzaker (Rebels), Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders), Luke Morahan (Western Force, 2 Aus Caps)

South Africa: Jesse Kriel (Bulls, 17 caps); Sergeal Petersen (Cheetahs, Uncapped), Francois Venter (Cheetahs, Uncapped), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions, Uncapped), Jamba Ulengo (Bulls, Uncapped); Pat Lambie (C) (Sharks, 53 Caps), Rudy Paige (Bulls, 5 Caps); Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks,  84 Caps), Malcolm Marx (Lions, 1 Cap), Lourens Adriaanse (Sharks, 4 Caps);  RG Snyman (Bulls, Uncapped), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers,  17 Caps);  Roelof Smit (Bulls, Uncapped), Teboho Mohojé (Cheetahs, 14 Caps), Nizaam Carr (Stormers, 2 caps)

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers, 3 Caps), Lizo Gqoboko (Bulls, Uncapped), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls, 26 Caps), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers, 53 Caps), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks, Uncapped), Piet van Zyl (Bulls, 2 Caps), Tian Schoeman (Bulls, Uncapped), Ruan Combrinck (Lions, 4 Caps)

ED HUTSON

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