Star-studded Barbarians out for Wallabies' scalp
December 3, 2008
The Barbarians will be after a famous win at Wembley © Getty Images
The Barbarians will roll into town once again on Wednesday night, making Wembley their latest temporary home and Robbie Deans' Wallabies their prey.
Following on from Australia's defeat to Wales in Cardiff last weekend, Deans has taken the opportunity to blood some of the younger members of his touring party against a fiercely competitive and powerful Baa-baas side.
Rookie fullback James O'Connor starts his first game for Australia after becoming the second-youngest player to represent the Wallabies against Italy three weeks ago, while Brumbies lock Peter Kimlin is poised to make his first appearance in the green and gold from the bench.
Veteran flanker George Smith will skipper the side, and will have his hands full against a Barbarians back-row that would not look out of place in a world XV. All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, Springbok Schalk Burger and former All Black powerhouse Jerry Collins will be out to end their year on a high by claiming a famous scalp in a match organised as part of the British Olympic Association's celebrations of the first London Olympics in 1908. During the games Australia won the rugby gold medal by defeating Great Britain, represented by Cornwall, 32-3.
Francois Steyn takes the reins for the Baa-baas at fly-half outside Fourie Du Preez, while the side will be captained by South Africa hooker John Smit. Percy Montgomery returns to the international stage at full-back, while Joe Rokocoko and Bryan Habana will be looking to cause havoc on the wings. Wales wing and IRB World Player of the Year Shane Williams will start on the bench.
Under the tutelage of South Africa's World Cup-winning coach Jake White and current Saracens boss Eddie Jones, this Barbarians team will be out for a resounding win and a place in the annals of the touring side's famous history.
Australia: James O'Connor; Lote Tuqiri, Ryan Cross, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Digby Ioane; Quade Cooper, Brett Sheehan; Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Matt Dunning, Mark Chisholm, Hugh McMeniman, Dean Mumm, George Smith, Richard Brown
Replacements: Adam Freier, Ben Alexander, Peter Kimlin, David Pocock, Luke Burgess, Lachie Turner, Drew Mitchell
Barbarians: Percy Montgomery; Joe Rokocoko, Rico Gear, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Francois Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Federico Pucciariello, John Smit, Cencus Johnson, Bakkies Botha, Johann Muller, Jerry Collins, Schalk Burger, Richie McCaw
Replacements: Mark Regan, Rodney Blake, Chris Jack, Nick Koster, George Gregan, Ollie Smith, Shane Williams