Five Blues selected for Barbarians

Five Blues selected for Barbarians

Five Blues men have been selected for the Barbarians team to face the Maori All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday, July 18.
Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s inclusion in the starting line-up is another step in the right direction for the young prop, who was given valuable experience by training with the All Blacks before the Samoa test.
Also of note is George Moala’s inclusion in the squad. Moala is coming off a successful entrance in to the All Blacks squad, earning the side’s only try in the 25-16 win over Samoa.

The clash will be the first between the two teams since the 2010 Maori Centenary Series, when the Maori All Blacks defeated the Barbarians 37-31 in an entertaining affair in Whangarei.

The Barbarians side contains George Moala and Tom Taylor, who were both in Samoa with the All Blacks, while All Blacks squad member Cory Jane makes his long-awaited comeback from injury.

Other features of the squad are the selection of seven players who were involved in last week’s Investec Super Rugby final, along with former All Blacks James Parsons, Luke Whitelock and Dominic Bird, and two out of the World Rugby Under 20 championship New Zealand team – Auckland loose forward Blake Gibson and Taranaki halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.

Mitchell Graham (Taranaki)
Reg Goodes (Wellington)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland)
Ben Tameifuna (Waikato)
Liam Coltman (Otago)
James Parsons (North Harbour)
Alex Ainley (Tasman)
Joseph Wheeler (Tasman)
Dominic Bird (Canterbury)
Brad Shields (Wellington)
Blake Gibson (Auckland)
Luke Whitelock (Canterbury)
Jordan Taufua (Counties)

Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury)
Te Toiroa Tahuiorangi (Taranaki)
Andrew Horrell (Hawke’s Bay)
Ihaia West (Hawke’s Bay)
George Moala (Auckland)
Seta Tamanivalu (Taranaki)
Patrick Osborne (Canterbury)
Cory Jane (Wellington)
Richard Buckman (Hawke’s Bay)
Tom Taylor (Canterbury)

Injury to Hurricanes loose forward Ardie Savea prevented his selection. The Barbarians will be coached by Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod, along with Hawke’s Bay’s Craig Philpott and Auckland’s Paul Feeney.

“There’s a lot of new, emerging and exciting talent, and some who are currently in the All Blacks environment. Both Blake and Te Toiroa had outstanding campaigns for the New Zealand Under 20. It’s Barbarian tradition to have a young guy involved and we felt comfortable with these guys coming in for the two available slots,” said McLeod.

The Barbarians assemble as a full squad in Auckland on Tuesday and have planned a visit to the impressive Barbarians clubrooms at Eden Park to gain a feel for the club and the famous scarlet jersey which they will wear.

“We want the players to understand who they are representing and why, so they will check out the photos and memorabilia on the walls and talk to the club members. We want them to feel they are playing for something special and for them to own that performance,” McLeod said, adding that the side will adhere to the traditional Barbarians open rugby, but still with the ultimate aim of winning the clash. He is under no illusions as to how tough the Maori All Blacks will be, especially as they will be coming off an international against Fiji, to be played tomorrow in Suva.