Cape Town - Shane
Jennings will make the final appearances of his professional career for the Barbarians
against Ireland and England.
flank will be joined by Leinster team-mates fullback Zane Kirchner and flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth for the games against Ireland at Thomond Park (May 28) and
an England XV at Twickenham (May 31).
will line up alongside the likes of Joe Rokocoko, George Smith, Adam Jones,
Alex Cuthbert, Gio Aplon and Thomas Waldrom for the famous invitation club that celebrates
the 125th anniversary of its foundation this year.
brings down the curtain after 13 caps for Ireland and Pro-12 and European Cup
wins with Leinster, as well as a Premiership title in England during his
two-season spell at Leicester Tigers.
said farewell to the Leinster fans at the RDS Arena earlier this month after a
difficult Pro-12 and European campaign for his provincial side before getting
the invitation to join the Barbarians from former Australia coach Robbie Deans.
said: "This will be my last go as a professional player.
a shame it didn’t end as I would have liked with Leinster but every cloud has a
silver lining and I can’t wait to get going and to wear the jersey.
grew up watching 101 Great Tries on video and Gareth Edwards scoring for the
Barbarians so it’s been something I’ve been aware of ever since then.
did get called up a couple of years ago but couldn’t do it. It’s funny that I’m
finally going to be able to do it against Ireland.”
Leinster have rebuilding to do, there is a feelgood factor around rugby in
Ireland after sustained international success that led to this season’s Six
Nations title win and strong performances from the provinces.
Jennings warns Ireland will have a tougher task to sustain level of performance
on English soil in the Autumn.
haven’t been at their best but Connacht have down well to get into the playoff (against Gloucester), Munster and Ulster are still going well and the state of
Irish rugby is very good at the moment,” he said.
will be high going into those World Cup warm-up games but the fitness of the
squad is important it’s key that and the likes of Paul O’Connell and Jonny
Sexton remain fit.
managing expectations is a problem. We played well in the Six Nations but that
doesn’t give you the automatic right to do well in a World Cup.
we could end up playing England in England (in the knock-out stages) and that’s
going to be very different. We learned a lesson at the Millennium Stadium
against Wales. But if we get the balance right it’s a great opportunity.”