No Captain Cooper for Baabaas opener

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:54
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Barbarians coach Alan Jones has opted not to unleash Quade Cooper for their first match against the Classic Wallabies on October 24.

Instead, the captain's armband has been handed to scrumhalf Micheal Ruru.

Cooper's absence remains unclear but it does emphasise Jones' reluctance to reveal his hand ahead of the important clash against Australia and old friend Michael Cheika.

Sam Greene will take up the role as the pivot, while Somaon star Tim Nanai-Williams' presence on the bench adds an international flavour to an all-Australian side.

Warringah’s Sam Ward makes his debut for the Barbarians. Ward was added to Alan Jones’s squad following a fans’ online vote during an emotional year in which his brother Lachlan died playing for the Rats' fifth grade team. Warringah rallied around him and went on to lift the Shield with Ward scoring in the final win over North Sydney.

The Barbarians’ squad also includes two teenagers in Sydney University’s Theo Strang (18) and Scots College schoolboy Brett Wellington (17).

At 17 years 207 days, Wellington will be one of the youngest-ever Barbarians if he takes the field. Cardiff’s Jim Sullivan was 17 years and 26 days old when he appeared against Newport on December 28, 1920.

The Barbarians will take on the Classic Wallabies on October 24 followed by the crucial fixture against Australia on Saturday, October 28, at Allianz Stadium

Barbarians: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom Connor, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Sam Greene, 9 Micheal Ruru (captain), 8 Sam Ward, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Max Girdler, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Richard Arnold, 3 Salesi Manu, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Sef Fa'agase.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Pekahou Cowan, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Isi Naisarani, 21 Theo Strang, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Brett Wellington.