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).


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