Julian Savea to play for Barbarians against Tonga
Savea was the 2015 World Cup’s leading try scorer and has touched down 46 tries in 54 appearances, appearing at international level most recently in the final drawn Test of the British & Irish Lions series.
THE Barbarians will take on Tonga with one of the All Blacks’ greatest-ever try scorers in their ranks. World Cup winner Julian Savea will line up for the famous invitation club for the tour which involves a match against Tonga in Limerick on November 10.
Savea was the 2015 World Cup’s leading try scorer and has touched down 46 tries in 54 appearances, appearing at international level most recently in the final drawn Test of the British & Irish Lions series before his surprise omission from this year’s Rugby Championship. Only Doug Howlett (49 in 62) has scored more New Zealand tries. Savea is level in second place with greats Christian Cullen and Joe Rokocoko — but none of his rivals has a better strike rate.
Savea will also face the Haka for the first time at Twickenham as the Barbarians attempt to emulate their famous wins of 1973 and 2009 when one of rugby’s most famous rivalries is renewed when they line up against the All Blacks. Savea is joined by another New Zealand World Cup winner in Andy Ellis who is also last year’s unbeaten Barbarians captain. The scrum half – a World Cup winner in 2011 – led the 2016 squad to a 31-31 draw against South Africa at Wembley before wins over the Czech Republic (71-0) and Fiji (40-7). Five of Super Rugby’s brightest stars, Mitchell Drummond and Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders), Dominic Bird and Atu Moli (Chiefs), and Dillon Hunt (Highlanders) will also feature on the tour.
The Barbarians will make further announcements in the run-up to the squad’s assembly in London next Monday. There is an unmistakeable Crusaders flavour to this first group of Barbarian recruits. Ellis and Bird are former players, Head Coach Robbie Deans was Super Rugby’s most successful boss in his spell with the Canterbury franchise, and current Crusaders chief Scott Robertson is Deans assistant on the two-match trip. Drummond, Mo’unga, Moli, Bird and Hunt – part of the Highlanders side that beat the Lions in June – will join up with the full New Zealand squad on the France leg of the All Blacks’ European tour.
Tickets to the Barbarians v Tonga at Thomond Park, Limerick, on Friday 10 November are available from http://bit.ly/2lbExbb
About the Barbarians
The Barbarians are the world’s most famous rugby club, bringing together great players to play club and international teams since 1890. The Barbarians’ unique style of adventure and enjoyment was encapsulated in the famous win over New Zealand in 1973 — containing arguably the greatest try in rugby history — and its reputation endures today. Since 1948 the Barbarians have played 20 different national teams and in the last decade England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa have all been beaten. The club’s charitable arm, the Barbarians Trust, makes donations to good causes around the world.