Sam Whitelock among All Blacks and England stars named in Barbarians team for swansong game against Fiji – Football News

Sam Whitelock among All Blacks and England stars named in Barbarians team for swansong game against Fiji

All Blacks legend Sam Whitelock will captain the Barbarians in their game against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday, with Saracens-bound Fergus Burke named at 10.

The meeting between two entertaining teams will follow the Springboks v Wales at the same venue, as fans are treated to a double header at the home of English Rugby.

Whitelock leads a star-studded team in a farewell game to one of the sport’s greatest ever players, with the New Zealand stalwart hanging up his boots after this game.

Whitelock and Ribbans

He is joined at lock by England international David Ribbans while Red Rose pair Kyle Sinckler and Harry Thacker start alongside Wallabies prop Scott Sio up front.

There is another Englishman in the back-row as Zach Mercer is at number eight, eager to impress at Twickenham, alongside Jack Cornelson and Lachlan Boshier.

Moving into the backs and Harlequins and now retired England star Danny Care starts at scrum-half and will no doubt relish the expansive nature of the match.

Joining Care in the half-backs will be Saracens-bound fly-half Burke, who only returned to action for the Crusaders late in a dismal Super Rugby Pacific season.

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There is plenty of quality in the midfield where former Les Bleus centre combination Gael Fickou and Virimi Vakatawa reunite in what is a formidable partnership.

Barbarians head coach Robbie Deans also possesses box office talent out wide with England legend Jonny May and New Zealand’s Leicester Fainga’anuku named on the wings while Chay Fihaki (Crusaders) gets the start at full-back for the double-header event at Twickenham that has already seen over 65,000 tickets sold.

Coach Deans can also call on some familiar faces via the bench on Saturday as Ben Youngs, Jonathan Joseph and Cameron Woki are among the options at his disposal.

“I’m delighted with the group that we’ve gathered together here in London,” the former Wallabies boss said earlier this week. “It’s a great squad with a lot of experience, as well as a lot of guys who are at the front end of their careers as well.

“They all understand the privilege they have got to wear this jersey, so we have a fantastic week ahead of us.

“The key is for us all to come together and connect. All these guys can play brilliant rugby – they wouldn’t be here if they couldn’t – so we just want to help them bring all their skills come Saturday for the benefit of the Barbarians, and so they enjoy the experience as well.”

Barbarians team

Barbarians: 15 Chay Fihaki, 14 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Jonny May, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Danny Care, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Jack Cornelsen, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 David Ribbans, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Fabian Holland, 20 Liam Mitchell, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Cameron Woki

Venue: Twickenham Stadium
Kick-off: 17:15 BST (16:15 GMT)
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), Federico Vedovelli (Italy)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

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