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Barbarians v New Zealand approved by RFU

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THE Barbarian FC has received approval from the RFU to stage the Barbarians v New Zealand match at Twickenham on November 4, 2017.
The Barbarians approached the RFU last month with a request to stage this fixture at Twickenham and the request has been granted, replacing a Barbarians v Australia match previously approved.
John Spencer, Chairman of the Barbarians, said: "The entire Barbarians Committee would like to thank the RFU for approving this fixture against New Zealand. 
"For the record, and contrary to some recent media reports, the Barbarians have a strong and very collaborative relationship with the RFU, and any suggestion that the RFU has not acted correctly in any part of the discussions around staging this fixture is unfair and wrong. “
The match, which still requires the approval of the New Zealand Board, would renew one rugby’s most historic rivalries in celebration of the NZRU’s 125th anniversary.
Few sporting contests have more resonance than the Barbarians v New Zealand, whose previous meetings include the 1973 match that is regarded as one of rugby’s greatest games.
The Barbarians have taken on New Zealand 10 times since 1954, most notably when Gareth Edwards’s famous try helped the Barbarians’ record that 23-11 victory.
More recently, South Africa’s Bryan Habana scored a hat-trick of tries when the Barbarians beat the All Blacks 25-18 in 2009.
In 2016, the Barbarians returned to action for three matches that showcased all their famous attacking flair. They shared 10 tries in a 31-31 draw with South Africa before winning 78-0 against the Czech Republic in Prague and beating Fiji 40-7 in Belfast.
The Barbarians are next in action against England at Twickenham on Sunday, May 28 before returning to Belfast's Kingspan Stadium to play Ulster on Thursday, June 1.
Departing Scotland coach Vern Cotter takes charge of the team against England and Ulster and player announcements for those games will take place in the coming weeks.