Matfield to captain Barbarians

2011-11-23 19:41

London - Former South Africa lock Victor Matfield will captain a Barbarians team containing 10 different nationalities and more than a thousand Test caps for Saturday's international against Australia at Twickenham.

The 34-year-old Matfield will lead the invitational side out for the last match of his illustrious 10-year international career in which he won 110 caps and was a key part of South Africa's World Cup-winning side in 2007.

"He's a legend in the game - 110 Tests for South Africa, four caps for the Barbarians," said Steve Hansen, the All Blacks defence coach who is part of the Baa-Baas' coaching setup for the match.

"He is a wonderful player and you can see why when you get up close. It's been a pleasure to work with him so far."

The Barbarians have put together a powerful, experienced lineup as they attempt to follow up wins over New Zealand and South Africa in the last two years with another over Australia, who will treat the match as a useful warmup ahead of a Test against Wales in Cardiff on December 3.

Four members of New Zealand's 2011 World Cup-winning squad - Keven Mealamu, Jerome Kaino, Adam Thomson and Isaia Toeava - were included in a starting team managed by recently departed All Blacks coach Graham Henry and Hansen, his longtime assistant and possible successor.

Former Australia captain Stirling Mortlock, South Africa winger Bryan Habana and France prop Sylvain Marconnet are other stalwarts to be called up.

At the other end of the scale, Sam Tomkins, the 22-year-old England rugby league fullback who is making a one-off appearance in the 15-man game, starts on the wing in what could be a precursor to an eventual move to union later in his career.

"Sammy's an interesting kettle of fish," Hansen said. "He's coming from the other game and it will be interesting to see how he plays.

"He's got plenty of skill - he's shown that in his league performances this year for England. It will be exciting to see what he does with the ball in hand."

Aside from Tomkins, Crusaders center Robbie Fruean is the other uncapped player in the starting team.


Barbarians: 15 Isaia Toeva, 14 Sam Tomkins, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Stirling Mortlock, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Sylvain Marconnet, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Eusebio Guinazu.

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Jason White, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Nemia Kenatale, 21 Richard Kahui, 22 Seru Rabeni. 

Australia: TBA


  • Dale - 2011-11-23 20:50

    Give this man a bells. He should have been our bok Captain for the last 2 years.

  • Boetjan - 2011-11-23 21:01

    I thought this was going to be the last time bakkies and victor played together.. I dont know why i thought that bakkies was in the team. Well thats a dissapointment. Anyways, victor is the best lineout jumper of all time.. Perhaps even the greatest lock of all time and, as he showed in his last springbok game, is still the best out there

      Gareth - 2011-11-23 21:55

      I think Bakkies had to pull out from his injury he didnt quite recover from during the WC. It was definitely going to be both of them at one point.

      uwe.klopfer - 2011-11-24 14:20

      beastly is right. When they originally named the squad vic and bakkies where to be lock partners for one last time. However Bakkies with his Achilles injury had to pull out.

  • colin.dovey - 2011-11-23 22:09

    The ultimate accolade.....Captaining the Barbarians.....could not have happened to a more deserving guy then Victor.

  • Johann - 2011-11-23 22:24

    Victor, I love your work. One can't imagine a Bok team without this guy, is he replacable?? We'll have to wait and see.

      Arthur John Ware - 2011-11-24 09:13

      Andries Bekker

      uwe.klopfer - 2011-11-24 14:26

      @Johann : everyone is replaceable.... but the new guy will have different strengths etc. It also depends on the new (hopefully) bok coach what type of game he wants to play...more bash them to bits or move with the time (and im sorry to say this but) copy the NZ, OZ and successfull welsh way and have a big fast and mobile pack (effectively 2 props and 6 loose style forwards). The old school bash them and grind them down type of rugby is dying out...we will get more of it but that style isn't the winning combo anymore. @Arthur : Andries "park bench" Bekker ? You can just as well select Show Pony Spies and have more success. Bekker is good but over rated and not even top 5 best locks in South Africa i am sorry to say, and far too injury prone to be a springbok regular.

  • Matt - 2011-11-24 03:22

    since when did the baabaa beat the AB's

  • clivegoss - 2011-11-24 04:55

    Enjoy the game Viktor. As always, make us proud. Where is Brycie the Bliksem ? He was the ref Doc Craven was referring to when God asked Craven ,upon his arrival in Heaven; " Glad you are here Danie. It will be your job to arrange the test match between Heaven and hell. When God evemtually got doc Danie to stop laughing with "what is so funny?" Doc replied; "God we can never win, YOU have all the players, but hell have every referee! !"

  • Igenatius - 2011-11-24 09:10

    Congratulations Victor! What an amazing achievement to end off your astonishing career. Bryan Habana at 11. Really? How does this oke manage to worm himself into squads? How?!?!

  • Joy - 2011-11-24 12:03

    That's my boy!!!

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