Cape Town - Super Rugby champion coach
Jamie Joseph and New Zealand great Carlos Spencer will take charge of the
Barbarians next month when rugby makes its first appearance at the former
Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Joseph led the Highlanders to their first
Super Rugby title when they beat the Hurricanes in last month’s final.
His next appointment is to lead the
Barbarians, who celebrate their 125th anniversary this year, against Samoa on
August 29. It is the first time rugby will be played at the iconic London 2012
Olympic and Paralympic venue.
“It’s a privilege to take charge of the
Barbarians who are known the world over for bringing great players together to
play entertaining rugby,” said Joseph.
“They have achieved an incredible amount in
their 125-year history and to be the first rugby team to play at such a famous
stadium makes it even more special.
“It should be a great game to watch,
particularly as Samoa will be really determined to show what they can do as
they prepare for their Rugby World Cup 2015 games."
As a player, Joseph won the first of 20
caps for New Zealand in 1992 and made his final appearance in the Rugby World
Cup final against South Africa in 1995.
He played for Japan in the 1999 tournament
and coached Wellington and the Maori All Blacks before taking over the
Highlanders in 2011. The unfashionable Dunedin side hadn’t reached a final
since 1999 but triumphed 21-14 over the Hurricanes to complete a fairytale 2015
He teams up with ‘King Carlos’ Spencer, one
of the game’s great flyhalves, who won 35 caps for New Zealand while playing
for the Blues before spells with Northampton Saints, Gloucester and the
Spencer moved into coaching in South Africa
at the end of his playing career in 2011 at the Lions and the Sharks before
signing a long-term deal with Eastern Province Kings.
The Barbarians v Samoa 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 Rugby World Cup 2015 matches, including
the Bronze Final, later this year.
Samoa will go on to open their Rugby World
Cup campaign against the USA at Brighton Community Stadium on September
The Barbarians will make further
announcements about the players invited to take part in the match against Samoa
in due course.