Ruan Pienaar benched against Fiji in Belfast

Ruan Pienaar (Getty Images)
Ruan Pienaar (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Tommy Bowe makes his debut for the Barbarians in his home town of Belfast on Friday night.

The Ulster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions star is in the starting line-up facing Fiji at the Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 21:30 SA time).

The Barbarians have also drafted double Rugby World Cup winner Ben Franks into the front row and have Ulster and South Africa scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar on the bench.

The famous invitation side scored five tries in their 31-31 draw against South Africa last Saturday and 11 more in a 71-0 win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.

"It’s a huge honour and I’m delighted to get the call and the BaaBaas is one of the great traditions," said Bowe.

"It’s something I never thought I’d get the chance to do so I’m looking forward to the match. Personally I need game time, to get my match sharpness back and playing a game like this should be right up my alley.

"It’s amazing for the Barbarians to come here to Ulster. It’s the first time since 1957 so it’s a big occasion and it's against the Fijians so it doesn’t get more entertaining rugby-wise."

The Barbarians take on Fiji for the first time since 2013, when they won 43-19 at Twickenham with Bismarck du Plessis and Jean de Villiers scoring two tries apiece. Their last appearance in Belfast was 59 years ago when they won 14-11 against an Ulster Invitation XV.



15 Melani Nanai (Blues), 14 Matt Faddes (Highlanders), 13 Tommy Bowe (Ulster & Ireland), 12 Richard Buckman (Highlanders/Panasonic), 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs/Panasonic & Australia), 10 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders/Kobelco & New Zealand, captain), 8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand), 7 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 5 Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia), 4 Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), 3 Ben Franks (London Irish & New Zealand), 2 Akker van der Merwe (Lions), 1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes)

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Ready (Reds), 17 Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia), 18 Paddy Ryan (Waratahs & Australia), 19 Martin Muller (Lions), 20 Ruan Ackermann (Lions), 21 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster & South Africa), 22 Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders), 23 Luke Morahan (Force & Australia)



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