Cape Town - The Barbarians have confirmed their full squad to face Samoa in an international clash at London’s Olympic Park on Saturday (kick-off 16:00 SA time).
It will be the first rugby match to be staged at the iconic Olympic stadium.
The Barbarians are coach by New Zealand’s Jamie Joseph, who this year coached the Highlanders to their maiden Super Rugby title. Former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer will be his assistant.
The squad features six South African players, with scrumhalf Nic Groom and centre Wynand Olivier named among the backs.
The four South Africans among the forwards are lock Bakkies Botha, prop Maks van Dyk and loose forwards Pierre Spies and Jacques Potgieter.
Groom (WP) and Van Dyk (Free State Cheetahs) were allowed by their provinces to miss Currie Cup duty this weekend to get a taste of international rugby.
Potgieter, who spent the last two seasons at the Waratahs in Sydney, played three Tests for the Boks in 2012. The 29-year-old will join the Sharks in time for next year’s Super Rugby competition.
The squad also features ex-All Blacks Ali Williams and Adam Thomson, who were Rugby World Cup winners in 2011. There are also several Australian players with vast Super Rugby experience.
The match is part of testing programme run by England Rugby 2015, the Rugby World Cup 2015 Organising Committee, and will allow them to trial aspects of match-day delivery ahead of the venue hosting five RWC matches, including the bronze final.
Samoa will open their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign against the USA at Brighton Community Stadium on September 20.
The Pacific islanders also face South Africa, Scotland and Japan in Pool B of the tournament.
The 25-man Barbarians squad to face Samoa:
Luke Burgess (Zebre & Australia), Tom English (Melbourne Rebels), Nic Groom (WP/Stormers), Mike Harris (Melbourne Rebels & Australia), Christian Leali’ifano (Brumbies & Australia), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Glasgow Warriors), Wynand Olivier (South Africa), Dom Shipperley (Melbourne Rebels), Dwayne Sweeney (Munakata Sanix Blues), Ben Tapuai (Western Force & Australia), Paul Williams (Stade Francais & Samoa)
Bakkies Botha (South Africa), Saia Fainga’a (Reds & Australia), Liam Gill (Reds & Australia), Carl Hayman (New Zealand), Josh Hohneck (Highlanders), Luke Jones (Melbourne Rebels), Tolu Latu (Waratahs), Jacques Potgieter (Munakata Sanix Blues & South Africa), Benn Robinson (Waratahs & Australia), Pierre Spies (Kintetsu Liners, Montpellier & South Africa), Adam Thomson (Reds & New Zealand), Kyle Traynor (Bristol & Scotland), Maks van Dyk (Cheetahs), Ali Williams (New Zealand)