Mark Regan sticks to his gun

2007-11-28 00:00

Mark Regan has stuck to his guns and his insistence that he will lead the Barbarians in Saturday’s match against the Springboks at Twickenham saw him named yesterday in the starting line-up.

Andrew Sheridan, Regan’s England team-mate and rated as probably the strongest prop in world rugby, was however forced to withdraw, with his place in the squad going to Stormers prop JD Moller, who will play off the bench. Moller is the third Stormers player to be selected in the squad, with Peter Grant and Schalk Brits also selected on the bench.

Even without Sheridan the Barbarians remain a strong team, with the only weak area possibly being the front five. Jerry Collins, Martyn Williams and Rocky Elsom make up a competent back row, while Justin Marshall is paired with Matt Giteau at halfback. Outside of them is found the All Black midfield pair of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith, while Joe Rokocoko and Isoa Neivua of Fiji are a formidable pair of wings.

England fullback Jason Robinson, in what will be his swansong game, remains doubtful even though he has been included in the starting team.

Barbarians team

Jason Robinson (England), Joe Rokocoko (Blues and New Zealand), Conrad Smith (Hurricanes and New Zealand), Ma’a Nonu (Hurricanes and New Zealand), Isoa Neivua (Warriors and Fiji), Matt Giteau (Western Force and Australia), Justin Marshall (Ospreys and New Zealand), Jerry Collins (Hurricanes and New Zealand), Martyn Williams (Cardiff and Wales), Rocky Elsom (Waratahs and Australia), Justin Harrison (Ulster and Australia), Brent Cockbain (Wales), Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies), Mark Regan (Bristol and England – captain), Frederico Pucciarello (Munster and Italy). On the bench: Schalk Brits (Stormers), JD Moller (Stormers), Troy Flavell (Blues and New Zealand), Michael Owen (Dragons and Wales), Tom Shanklin (Cardiff and Wales), Peter Grant (Stormers and South Africa), Ben Cohen (England).

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