Barbarians make History in Prague

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 20:15
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On Tuesday afternoon the Barbarians play against the Czech Republic in the beautiful city of Prague.

This historic match - the Barbarians' first match against the Czech Republic -  is the second match of their tour after playing the Springboks at Twickenham and on Saturday they will bring the tour to an end against Fiji in Belfast.

The trip is a part of the Czech Republic's 90th anniversary of rugby. 90 years ago it was Czechoslovakia and in 1927 played its first Test against Romania. In 1993 Czechoslovakia broke up and the Czech Republic was born. It played in Rugby Europe's third division which it tops.

Several of their players play in the Fédérale leagues in France. Their best-known player was  Martin Jágr, a 37-year-old wing who played for Pontypool, Toulon and Bordeaux-Bègles.

They are unlikely to put pressure on the Barbarians but the match and the public face of the Barbarians would give the keen rugby enthusiasts a boost. The visitors are likely to love Prague, an ancient city of great beauty - and some of the best beer in the world which the Barbarians may well get to sample.

There are three new Barbarians - Irish lock Dan Tuohy, who will captain the side, Sevens Springbok Kwagga Smith and the Cheetahs' impish fullback Clayton Blommetjies who plays with a laugh. All Black prop Ben Franks who is now playing for London Irish also joins the side. Tuohy's selection means that there is Four Home Unions' player in the side.


Barbarians: 15 Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs), 14 Luke Morahan (Force & Australia), 13 Matt Faddes (Highlanders), 12 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs & Panasonic & Australia), 10 Richard Mo'unga (Crusaders), 9 Nic Stirzaker (Rebels), 8 Ruan Ackermann (Lions), 7 Kwagga Smith (Lions), 6 Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia), 5 Martin Muller (Lions), 4 Dan Tuohy (Ulster & Ireland, captain), 3 Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia), 2 Andrew Ready (Reds), 1 Schalk van der Merwe (EP Kings)
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe (Lions), 17 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes), 18 Ben Franks (London Irish & New Zealand), 19 Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), 20 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 21 Andy Ellis (Crusaders & Kobelco & New Zealand), 22 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 23 Melani Nanai (Blues)

Czech Republic: 15 Michal Schlanger (Mountfield Rícany), 14 Jakub ┼Żalud (Praga Praha), 13 Jan Rohlík (Mountfield Rícany), 12 Jirí Pantucek (Sparta Praha), 11 Karel Berounský (Tatra Smíchov), 10 Václav Jursík (Olympique de Grasse), 9 mark Šimák (Tatra Smíchov), 8 Vojtech Havel (Saint Nazaire), 7 Vojtech Mára (Tatra Smíchov), 6 Vojtech Hruška (Sparta Praha), 5 Robert Voves (Praga Praha), 4 Miroslav Nemecek (Hyères-Carqueiranne-La Crau), 3 Martin Havlícek (US Cognac), 2 Ondrej Kutil (SOC Rugby Chambérie), 1 Lukáš Rapant (US Oyonnax)
Replacements: tba
Date: Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Kick-off: 18:00 (GMT)
Venue: Speedway Stadion, Markéta, Prague
Expected weather conditions: Clear and cold with a high of 5°C, dropping to -3°C
Referee: Max Burlet (Belgium)
Assistant referees: Tomáš Tuma (Czech Republic), Matej Rázga (Czech Republic)

*The Speedway Stadion is really that - a facility for speedway dating back over 80 years.

Photo: Dan Tuohy scoring for Ulster.