Jennings in last pro game for Barbarians

2015-05-22 21:28
Zane Kirchner, on the run for Leinster, has been included in the Barbarians side for matches against Ireland and an England XV. PHOTO: getty images

CAPE TOWN — Shane Jennings will make the final appearances of his professional career for the Barbarians against Ireland and England.

The 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).

They 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.

Jennings 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.

He 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.

Jennings said: “This will be my last go as a professional player.

“It’s 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.

“I 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.”

While Leinster have rebuilding to do, there is a feel-good 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.

But Jennings warns Ireland will have a tougher task to sustain level of performance on English soil in the autumn. “Leinster haven’t been at their best but Connacht have done 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.

“Confidence 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.

“Maybe 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.” — Sport24


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.