Tomkins, three Boks in Barbarians team

2011-11-23 00:00

HIGH profile English League star Sam Tomkins, who will switch codes, and three South Africans are included in the Barbarians’ 22-man squad for Saturday’s outing against the touring Australians at Twickenham.

Lock Victor Matfield, at the end of his career, wing Bryan Habana and hooker Adriaan Strauss are in New Zealand coach Graham Henry’s squad.

Tomkins, the Wigan fullback, played for England against Australia in the final of rugby league’s Four Nations last weekend and he will complete a unique double when he turns out against the Wallabies’ union team on Saturday.

“We are delighted that Sam, with the support of the coaches and management at Wigan, has accepted this opportunity to play in such a high-profile union match,” the Barbarians commercial director Mike Burton said. “The Barbarian club has a tradition of thinking outside the circle when inviting players with league backgrounds, and usually to everyone’s benefit.

“In recent years the likes of Mat Rogers, Lote Tuqiri, Wendell Sailor and, a few months ago,Willie Mason, have all made a mark when playing for us on the big stage. We are confident that Sam will be equal to the challenge this week.”

Wigan chairperson Ian Lenagan admitted it was the perfect chance for Tomkins to parade his talents in front of the Twickenham crowd.

Barbarians squad:

Sam Tomkins (England RL), Bryan Habana (South Africa), Isaia Toeava (New Zealand), Robbie Fruean (Crusaders), Stirling Mortlock (Australia), Richard Kahui (New Zealand), Seru Rabeni (Fiji), Danny Cipriani (England), Peter Stringer (Ireland), Nemia Kenatale (Fiji), Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), Adriaan Strauss (South Africa), Salvatore Perugini (Italy), Sylvain Marconnet (France), Eusebio Guinazu (Argentina), Victor Matfield (South Africa), Simon Shaw (England), Marco Bortolami (Italy), Jason White (Scotland), Jerome Kaino (New Zealand), Adam Thomson (New Zealand), Mauro Bergamasco (Italy).

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