SA muscle to help BaaBaas against Boks
NEWS: The South African contingent in the Barbarians squad, to face the Springboks, has grown significantly on Friday.
Three Lions players have joined up with Cheetahs star fullback Clayton Blommetjies and veteran Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar in a star-studded BaaBaas squad.
The famous invitational club will host the Boks at the Wembley Stadium in London next Saturday, November 5.
The Lions confirmed on Friday that Armand van der Merwe (hooker), Albertus Smit (flank) and Ruan Ackermann (utility forward) will all be in the Barbarian squad.
They will join Blommetjies on a flight out of Johannesburg to London this coming Saturday, October 29.
Blommetjies told rugby365 on Friday that he is "very excited" about the trip and playing opportunity.
"I can't wait to face the Springboks," the talented Cheetahs fullback said.
Pienaar was among one of the first names confirmed for the BaaBaas squad.
Friday's announcement follows confirmation that Australians Sam Carter, Luke Morahan, Paddy Ryan and Toby Smith have all been added to the Barbarians' squad to face South Africa, the Czech Republic and Fiji next month.
Western Force wing Morahan, Brumbies lock Carter, Rebels prop Smith and Waratahs prop Ryan will join a squad coached by former Wallaby boss Robbie Deans.
Boosting the Australia contingent in a squad where former New Zealand fullback Deans is being assisted by England World Cup-winning centre Will Greenwood are uncapped Reds hooker Andrew Ready and Rebels scrumhalf Nic Stirzaker.
There will be plenty of talented New Zealanders available to the Barbarians as well, with Crusaders centre Seta Tamanivalu - who won his first three All Blacks caps earlier this year - and Blues speedster Melani Nanai also included.
The Super Rugby champion Hurricanes will also be well-represented.
Forwards Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa and Reggie Goodes helped the Hurricanes end a 20-year wait for the Super Rugby title and will be accompanied by Richard Mo'unga and Jordan Taufua from the Crusaders, and Matt Faddes and Luke Whitelock from the Highlanders.
They join New Zealand's Andy Ellis, and Australia's Taquele Naiyaravoro and Will Skelton in the squad.
"This is a talented group of young men with the potential to play at the very highest level and they will all be hungry to impress in their time with the Barbarians. Alongside the more experienced players in the squad we should have a very competitive group," Deans said.
The Barbarians, now 125-years-old, will be playing South Africa for the eighth time since 1952 and they now lead the Springboks 4-3 following wins in 2007 and 2010.
Six years ago the Barbarians - rugby union's most celebrated invitational team - beat South Africa 26-20 in a match where Australia's Drew Mitchell (two), James O'Connor and Italy's Quintin Geldenhuys all scored tries.
Barbarians squad (confirmed names): Andy Ellis (Crusaders/Kobelco & New Zealand), Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia), Matt Faddes (Highlanders), Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes), Richard Mo'unga (Crusaders), Luke Morahan (Force & Australia), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs/Panasonic & Australia), Melani Nanai (Blues), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster & South Africa), Andrew Ready (Reds), Paddy Ryan (Waratahs & Australia), Brad Shields (Hurricanes), Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia), Nic Stirzaker (Rebels), Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders & New Zealand), Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), Dan Tuohy (Ulster & Ireland), Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand), Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs), Armand van der Merwe (Lions), Albertus Smit (Lions), Ruan Ackermann (Lions).