Category Archives: International

Barbarians beat Fiji 43-19

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A duel between some of the Southern Hemisphere’s best rugby talent took place on the other side of the world on Saturday, November 30th at Twickenam.  Marking Fiji’s centenary of rugby, the match between the national representative side vs the invitational touring squad of Barbarians was an unusual spectacle for a crowd of over 60,000.

Fiji’s team was not at full strength, with key players held back, perhaps controversially, by their French and British clubs.  An unfair price that many international Polynesian rugby teams — who lack economical and political clout — are facing.  At half-time the game still looked on paper like it was within reach for the Fijians at 17-7.  But in the end, the Barbarians team chosen to face them on the pitch was simply too powerful.

The BaaBaas delivered 7 tries for their fans to Fiji’s 3.  A brace of tries each from Bismarck du Plessis and Jean de Villiers, and solo tries from Duane Vermeulen, Charles Piutau and Tom Taylor.  Pat Lambie added 4 conversions.  

For Fiji, tries came from Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Henry Seniloli and Alexander Rokobaro with conversions from Seremai Bai and Waisea Luveniyali.

Steve Hansen and Barbarian’s captain Jean de Villiers celebrated a triumphant night that capped off impressive international seasons for both.

Second IRB Women’s Sevens World Series kicks off

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Canada and France will kick off the Dubai 7s on Thursday morning, launching the Second Women’s Sevens World Series.  The Women’s Sevens will be followed by the mens Sevens World Series that begins on Friday.  The women’s series of the Dubai 7s will be streamed live on http://wsws.irb.com/

12 teams will be competing in the five leg series that will lead them to Amsterdam on May 17, 2014. A sixth leg of the series has yet to be announced.

Huriana_Manuel-1200Winners of last years inaugural women’s world series, New Zealand will no doubt find the competition more challenging and look to make a dominant start in Dubai.  New Zealand play Fiji, Ireland and the United States in the pool stages on Thursday.  Captain Huriana Manuel led her side to victory in the Sevens Rugby World Cup in Moscow and with that confidence they are the side to beat.

Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and USA are core teams on the 2013/14 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series after reaching the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. The eight core teams will compete across all rounds of the Series. – wsws.irb.com

Tunisia, Brazil, Fiji and France round out the 12 teams participating in the Dubai 7s.

IRB Women’s Sevens World Series 2013/14: Dates and Venues:

First leg: Dubai, United Arab Emirates – November 28-29, 2013
Second leg: Atlanta, Georgia, USA – February 15-16, 2014
Third leg: Arena Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil – February 21-22, 2014
Fourth leg:
 Guangzhou University Town Stadium, Guangzhou, China – April 4-6 2014
Fifth leg: National Rugby Centrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands – May 16-17, 2014

Barbarians side named for Saturday

500x370_0On Saturday, November 30th, the Barbarians will play Fiji at Twickenam.  The side assembled by coach Steve Hansen, will be led by Jean de Villiers and include an exciting range of talent from experienced veterans to promising players who make up the next generation of international rugby.

De Villiers, undoubtedly one of the best mid-fielders in the world, is an automatic selection as captain.  An inspirational leader and all round sportsman, de Villiers follows in a line of class acts to lead the invitational team.

The 23 man squad includes 9 Springboks, 8 All Blacks and 5 Pumas.  Manu Samoa player Gavin Williams rounds out the side which does not feature a single Australian international.  Perhaps Australian rugby’s lack of player depth made it difficult for Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie to release any players for the match.  Whatever the reason, it has not hurt the side Hansen has selected.

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The New Zealand rugby system typically does such a good job of keeping its players from taking their careers off shore, that playing for the Barbarians offers a rare opportunity for current All Blacks.  I expect it will be a real treat for Hansen and the 8 All Blacks named to the side to work alongside de Villiers and fellow internationals from the southern hemisphere.  It wasn’t until Richie McCaw accepted an invitation to play with the Barbarians in 2008 that he realized what lasting friendships he could make beyond national borders.  With All Blacks and Springboks emerging from the trenches to play side-by-side, Richie struck up a lasting friendship with Schalk Burger.

Burger will be joining de Villiers with fellow South Africans Willie le Roux, Pat Lambie, Duane Vermeulen, Eben Etzebeth, Coenie Oosthuizen, Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis.

The Argentinian contingent of the squad includes Santiago Cordero, Martin Landajo, Guillermo Roan, Matias Diaz and Manuel Carizza.

Though New Zealand veteran Keven Mealamu has been named to the bench, he leads a group of 7 young All Blacks in their first taste in the Barbarians jersey, including Frank Halai, Charles Piutau, Dominic Bird, TJ Perenara, Steven Luatua,  Tom Taylor and Luke Whitelock.

Named in the Starting XV, uncapped half back TJ Perenara will get a chance on the pitch after missing out during the All Blacks End of Year tour.  The Hurricanes Half Back was unable to get any game time in Ireland, the scoreline was too close for Hansen to bring him off the bench.  The test was not won until the 81st minute.

The match kicks off at 14:30 GMT.

Barbarians team to play Fiji

15 Santiago Cordera
14 Frank Halai
13 Gavin Williams
12 Jean de Villiers (captain)
11 Charles Piutau
10 Patrick Lambie
9 T J Perenara
1 Tendai Mtawarira
2 Bismarck du Plessis
3 Matias Diaz
4 Flip van der Merwe
5 Dominic Bird
6 Steven Luatua
7 Schalk Burger
8 Duane Vermeulen

16 Keven Mealamu
17 Guillermo Ruan
18 Coenie Oosthuizen
19 Manuel Carizza
20 Luke Whitelock
21 Martin Landajo
22 Tom Taylor
23 Willie le Roux