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England v Barbarians: Bristol coach Pat Lam to take charge of Baa-Baas

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

Bristol coach Pat Lam will lead a Barbarians side against England at Twickenham on May 27.

Once celebrations for winning the GK IPA Championship title come to an end at Ashton Gate, the Samoan will link up with the Baa-Baas to take on England ahead of their three-Test summer tour to South Africa in June.

Lam has previous experience with the Barbarians having chosen the team’s match against Wales in 2002 to close out his playing career, ending it on a high with a 40-25 victory in Cardiff.

The former number 8 said he was keenly awaiting his return into the Barbarians fold as a coach after creating memories in the Black and White as a player.

“It’s a great memory so to be asked to be involved again and to coach the Barbarians is a real privilege – I’m really looking forward to it,” Lam said.

“I was blessed to play six times for the Barbarians against England, Wales, Scotland, Australia, and It was such an enjoyable experience.

“I played the game as an amateur and then as a professional and in the Barbarians you get a touch of both. It’s got that old school charm where you spend time building friendships, enjoying what you do on the field and off it, and the quality of players and people you were involved with was great.”

The former Connacht coach is under no illusions about the challenge England pose, as Eddie Jones’ side seek to bounce back from a Six Nations campaign that saw them finish in-tow behind Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France.

“There’s no doubt they’ve had a bit of a blip this season but there’s no doubt about the quality of the players in their squad and they’ll be looking for a really tough hit-out.

“We’ll have to look at who’s going to be available but the Barbarians ethos is to bring players together, make sure they get on the same page and to give them the chance to express their talent.

“We’ll be looking largely to players based in France and some in the PRO14 and the Premiership. There’s certainly plenty of quality out there.”

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