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Kirwan to coach the Barbarians
ESPNscrum Staff
February 14, 2012
John Kirwan talks to injured serviceman Paul Bennett prior to Saturday's Rugby Heroes match, Tidworth, Wilshere, November 30, 2011
John Kirwan took charge of the southern hemisphere side in the recent Heroes match © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: John Kirwan | Lewis Moody | Shane Williams

Former Japan coach John Kirwan will take charge of the Barbarians for their three-match 2012 summer tour.

The ex-All Blacks winger has recently declared his interest in the soon-to-be vacant head coach post at Ulster but has committed to guiding the famous international select side through their three-game tour against England, Ireland and Wales.

And it has been revealed that Lewis Moody will play for the Barbarians against England. Kirwan is relishing the opportunity and has stated that it is an occasion he will "remember forever".

"As a boy I got up in the early hours of the morning to watch the All Blacks against the Barbarians when Gareth Edwards scored that awesome try in 1973," Kirwan said. "It inspired me to want to be the best and it was my dream as a player to be a Barbarian. So the honour of being invited to coach them will be one I will remember forever.

"The Barbarians are putting together a very strong squad and our goal on this great tour against England, Ireland and Wales will be to inspire young people to play with flair, ability and passion."

Shane Williams will take his final bow in rugby against Wales on June 2 for the Barbarians in the last match of their tour with games against England - on May 27 - and Ireland - on May 29, preceding it.

Barbarians' secretary Alan Evans said, "The Barbarians defeated England, Ireland and Wales in their most recent encounters against them and we are very conscious that each of them will be keen to gain revenge this summer. With that in mind, we are in the early stages of assembling a very strong squad to meet the challenges ahead.

"Shane Williams will be making what will be his final representative appearance for us against Wales and also in the squad will be another Welsh record-breaker, Stephen Jones. The match at Twickenham will be an opportunity to field Lewis Moody and Ian Balshaw against England, and from further afield we have recruited Joe Rokocoko and Cedric Heymans."

Barbarians Summer Tour 2012:

Sunday May 27 v England at Twickenham (2.30pm)
Tuesday May 29 v Ireland at Gloucester (7.45pm)
Saturday June 2 v Wales at Millennium Stadium (2.30pm)

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