Barbarians name strong squad for Scarlets
January 27, 2009
Former All Black hooker Anton Oliver will step up for the Barbarians against the Scarlets © Getty Images
The Barbarians have announced a strong squad for their clash with the Scarlets on Saturday. The game is set to mark the official opening of Parc y Scarlets, the ground that the Welsh side have moved to from the famous Stradey Park.
There will be ten different nationalities on display in Llanelli, while 11 players will be making their first appearance for the Barbarians.
Those making their bow include the USA's Mike Petri, Argentina's Tomas de Vedia, England Saxons' centre Kevin Sorrell and Cambridge University captain Jon Dawson. All Blacks Anton Oliver, Ben Blair and Mark Robinson will take to the field, while Oliver will be playing alongside former Wallaby Dan Vickerman, whom he packed down against for Oxford during last year's Varsity Match.
Former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan will take charge of the squad, with the new Barbarians having their shirts presented to them by legendary Wales and Llanelli fly-half Phil Bennett. Bennett made 20 appearances for the Baa-baas during his playing career and sparked the "greatest try ever scored" against the All Blacks in 1973 with two outrageous side-steps.
"One of the traditions of our club is that we invite former Baa-Baas to present the jerseys to the modern generation and on this occasion there could be no finer individual than Phil to do this," said Barbarians president Micky Steele-Bodger. "He played all his rugby in the true spirit of the Barbarians and, indeed, Llanelli and continues to be a marvellous ambassador for the game at large."
Barbarians' squad to face Scarlets:
Backs - *Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues & NZ), *Tomas de Vedia (London Irish & Argentina), *Brian Carney (Munster & Ireland), *Tom Voyce (London Wasps & England), Jamie Robinson (Cardiff Blues & Wales), *Kevin Sorrell (Saracens), *Jeremy Staunton (London Wasps & Ireland), *Gordon Ross (Saracens & Scotland), Mark Robinson (London Wasps & NZ), *Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club & USA)
Forwards - Anton Oliver (Oxford University & NZ), Mark Regan (Bristol Rugby & England), Federico Pucciariello (Munster & Italy), *Jon Dawson (Cambridge University), Ben Evans (Calvisano & Wales), *Deiniol Jones (Cardiff Blues & Wales), Daniel Vickerman (Cambridge University & Australia), Gavin Quinnell (Viadana), Aaron Persico (Calvisano & Italy), Ma'ama Molitika (Cardiff Blues & Tonga), *Steve Tandy (Ospreys), Colin Charvis (Newport Gwent Dragons & Wales)
(* - New Barbarian)
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery