Australasians are the first BaaBaas

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 19:31
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NEWS: Australia's Taqele Naiyaravoro, Wycliff Palu and Will Skelton as well as World Cup winner Andy Ellis of New Zealand have been unveiled as the first four members of the Barbarians squad for the November matches.

The BaaBaas, who will play three international opponents in the space of seven days, open their accounts with a match against the Springboks at Wembley Stadium on November 5. They then travel to Prague to face the Czech Republic on November 8 before heading to Belfast to take on Fiji on November 11.

Coaches Robbie Deans and Will Greenwood will invite more players to join the squad over the coming weeks as the world famous invitation club prepares for its 126th season.

Giant Waratahs and Wild Knights wing Naiyaravoro - a Pro 12 competitor with Glasgow last season - has scored on both his appearances for the Wallabies and returns to the Barbarians after appearing against Samoa in 2015.

Crusaders and Steelers scrumhalf Ellis won the last of his 28 All Blacks caps in the 2015 Rugby Championship and featured for the Barbarians in their 2010 win over South Africa.

Australia No.8 Palu and lock Skelton will become Barbarians No. 4,995 and 4,996 respectively when they make their debuts for the club. Skelton will be one of the biggest combatants in the Barbarians' history and recently won his 16th cap for Australia against New Zealand.

Palu (Waratahs and Verblitz) made the last of his 58 international appearances against England in June.

Skelton played for the Wallabies against the Barbarians in 2014, an 11-try classic won 40-36 by Australia that underlined the thrilling relevance of the invitation club in the professional era.

The Barbarians are chasing a hat-trick of victories against the Springboks after a 26-20 win in 2010 and a 22-5 success against the newly-crowned World Cup winners in 2007.