Dream Barbarians debuts for Ireland four for Tonga clash in Thomond

Munster props James Cronin and Brian Scott, Connacht second-row Quinn Roux and Leinster’s Jordi Murphy make their first starts in the famous colours of the Barbarians who face Tonga at Thomond Park tonight (7.30pm).

Donncha O’Callaghan, who returned yesterday from his duties as a UNICEF ambassador in Sierra Leone, is included in the replacements along with a late addition in Connacht captain John Muldoon.

Ba-bas coach Robbie Deans, is promising a typical attacking approach from his side and is hoping to see his side reproduce the class of their three tries against the All Blacks at Twickenham last Saturday.

Deans stressed his pride in players who “value the opportunity they have in playing for the Barbarians.

“That’s more important than Test caps or perceived capability... those who genuinely want to be there and want to add to the history of the club”.

Having a player of the calibre of the great All Black wing Julian Savea (“there aren’t too many blokes who have scored 46 tries in something like 53 Tests”, says Deans) in their ranks is a great feather in the cap of the side but he will be only one of the many stars on view tonight.

The Tongans won’t be short in that area with Toutai Kefu in the role of head coach.

“Tongans have rugby in their DNA,” he says. “We’ve got a lot of young players coming through and we’re going to be direct.”

BARBARIANS: G Bridge (Crusaders); T Naiyaravoro (Waratahs, Australia), R Buckman (Highlanders), H Vorster (Lions), V Aso (Hurricanes); R du Preez (Stormers), N Stirzaker (Rebels); J Cronin (Munster & Ireland), A van der Merwe (Sharks), B Scott (Munster), G Parling (Munaka Sanix Blues & England), capt, Q Roux (Connacht & Ireland), J Murphy (Leinster & Ireland), S Favaro (Flamme Oro & Italy), W Britz (Sunwolves).

Replacements: A Strauss (Bulls & South Africa), J van Rooyen (Lions), R Smith (Toyota Verblitz), D O’Callaghan (Worcester Warriors & Ireland), J Muldoon (Connacht & Ireland), A Ellis Kobelco Steelers & New Zealand), D Smith (Castres), S Carter (Brumbies & Australia).

TONGA: K Pakalani (Leicester); D Halaifonua (Gloucester), N Tuitavake (Northampton), T Taufui (Waikato), V Cooper (Unattached); K Hala (Counties), S Takalua (Newcastle); P Faanunu (Dax), S Lea (Taranaki), B Tameifuna (Racing 92), L Fifita (Waikato), S Mafi (Castres), D Faleafa (Colomiers), F Lokotui (Counties), M Vaipula (Castres).

Replacements: M Nguamao (Gloucester), L Talabai (Waikato), H Aulika (Sale), O Kaufisin (Western Force), S Vailanu (Kolovai), S Tuumotooa (University), F Paea (Osila Pelu), P Latu (Waikato Univ).


More in this Section

A rare window of opportunity for Ireland to build strength in depth

Jordi Murphy’s joy at return to the big time

Stephen Larkham: Spoilt Eddie Jones must justify resources

IRFU ‘very disappointed’ Welsh and Scottish support went elsewhere


Breaking Stories

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl split for second time

Watch Chapecoense celebrate avoiding relegation less than a year on from tragic plane crash

Chris Coleman expected to take over at Sunderland after leaving Wales job

Nou Camp may be temporarily closed if fans found guilty of insulting chants

Lifestyle

A towering achievement: Exploring Irish castles and beautiful buildings

Books that belong on the gardener's bookshelf

The domestic flash of Francis Brennan

John Wilson touring with music made with Rory Gallagher in Taste

More From The Irish Examiner