Julian Savea will face his home country as the 27-year-old was named in a strong Barbarians team for Saturday’s match against New Zealand at Twickenham, as revealed by barbarianfc.
The Hurricanes winger, affectionately known as the ‘Bus’, who has scored an astonishing 46 tries in 54 Tests, makes his debut for the Barbarians and will have a point to prove to Steve Hansen after he was left out of the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship squad, as they picked up a fifth title in six years.
He will face his younger brother Ardie for the first time in an exciting Barbarians team which is skippered by former All Blacks scrum-half Andy Ellis, a 2011 World Cup winner.
Speaking about coming up against his brother, the powerful six-foot-four, 16-stone-10 star said:
“It’s going to be strange coming up against Ardie – he beat me to playing with the Barbarians too so this will be cool”.
“I’m not expecting any kind of leniency. I’m just going to step him, go round that way!”
Up front the likes of former Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss, Brumbies and Australia second-row Sam Carter and sixteen-times capped All Black backrower Steven Luatua, currently with Bristol, offer international experience with exciting uncapped talent such as Chiefs prop Atu Moli and Lions flanker Kwagga Smith also starting.
While behind the scrum there is plenty of attacking threat with a plethora of exciting uncapped talent including the likes of Crusaders pair Richie Mo’unga and George Bridge and Hurricanes wing Vince Aso and Lions centre Harold Vorster.
One of rugby’s most famous fixtures, the last time these two sides met was in 2009 when the Barbarians won 25-18. The Barbarians will be looking for a third victory over the world’s number one team after also beating them in 1973 in a game marked by Gareth Edwards’ wonder try, and the eleventh encounter between the two sides is sure to be another cracker.
Here’s the Barbarians match-day 23
15 George Bridge (Crusaders)
14 Julian Savea (Hurricanes & New Zealand)
13 Richard Buckman (Highlanders)
12 Harold Vorster (Lions)
11 Vince Aso (Hurricanes)
10 Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders)
9 Andy Ellis (Kobelco Steelers & New Zealand, captain)
1 Jacques van Rooyen (Lions)
2 Adriaan Strauss (Bulls & South Africa, vice captain)
3 Atu Moli (Chiefs)
4 Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia)
5 Dominic Bird (Chiefs & New Zealand)
6 Steven Luatua (Bristol & New Zealand)
7 Kwagga Smith (Lions)
8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand, vice captain)
16 Akker van der Merwe (Lions)
17 Ben Franks (London Irish & New Zealand)
18 Ruan Smith (Toyota Verblitz)
19 Willie Britz (Sunwolves)
20 Ruan Ackermann (Gloucester)
21 Mitchell Drummond (Crusaders)
22 Robert du Preez (Stormers)
23 Dillon Hunt (Highlanders)
Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena