With Rassie Erasmus in charge and Tendai Mtawarira, Eben Etzebeth and Handre Pollard picked, the Barbarian squad to face Argentina in the Killik Cup at Twickenham on 1 December has a distinctly South African feel. Australia’s Will Genia has been selected, too, which will make for a bit of friendly rivalry within the squad.
Etzebeth and company will likely be joined by other Springboks when more big names are announced in the build-up to the showcase fixture in London. The Barbarians have traditionally enjoyed the services of players from all around the world and, more and more, the southern hemisphere.
Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Joel Stransky, Joost van der Westhuizen, Francois Pienaar, Jon Smit and Jean de Villiers are among numerous former Springboks to have played for the Barbarians previously. From the prolific Habana, who scored a hat-trick for the Baa-baas against the All Blacks, to the 1995 World Cup-winning Pienaar, famous names vast and varied have, indeed, donned the famous black and white jersey.
It’s sure to be a splendid day out for friends and family alike. Twickenham has always been a superb venue, fostering fandom and rugby community through and through. Its great hospitality features, modern facilities, professional staff and wonderful vantage points make it one of the world’s most popular stadiums. The venue itself is a spectacle, making the actual game on the go out in the middle all the more attractive.
This isn’t going to a David v Goliath showdown, but rather a competitive match-up that’s sure to keep all and sundry entertained across 80 thrilling minutes. Either side could be pinned as the underdog or favourite at any given minute, so it’s bound to be a seesaw battle in front of a packed crowd. Don’t miss out.