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Ben Franks presents shirts as Barbarians name team to face Army

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New Zealand’s Kayla McAlister received her Barbarians shirt from Ben Franks after the famous invitation club named its women’s team to take on the British Army at Aldershot on Saturday (3pm).

The Olympic sevens star will make only her second 15-a-side appearance in a team boasting more than 700 international appearances between them.

McAlister starts at 13 for the Barbarians and will complete the first brother-sister combination to represent the Baa-baas. Brother Luke appeared for the club in 2009.

Franks, a double World Cup winner with New Zealand, presented the jerseys to a squad containing eight different nationalities before being quizzed at length about his rugby career. 

The Barbarians are led by Wales's Rachel Taylor with other international captains on duty in the shape of Scotland’s Tracey Balmer and Isabel Rico Vazquez, whose Spain side beat the Netherlands in this year’s Rugby Europe Championship final.

Ben Franks and Kayla McAlister

Ben Franks and Kayla McAlister

Uncapped hooker Katharine Evans continues her resurgence from the long-term injury that threatened to end her career.

Evans spent four years out of the game with a complicated leg break but has been a key figure in Saracens rise to the top of the Tyrrell’s Premier 15 table this season.

Club rivalries are put to one side as she joins four Wasps players in the squad – Tina Veale, Claire Cripps, Vicki Jackson and German international Nora Baltruweit.

Entry to the match is free as the Army women’s side complete their build-up to next month’s inter-services games against the RAF and Royal Navy.

BARBARIANS TEAM

15 Jessica Wooden (Harlequins & USA) 13 caps
14 Sydney Gregson (Bristol & England) 3
13 Kayla McAlister (Galwegians) 0
12 Georgina Roberts (DMP Sharks & England) 15
11 Elen Evans (Caernarfon & Wales) 73
10 Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere & Ireland) 50
9 Tina Veale (Wasps & England) 2
1 Claire Cripps (Wasps & England) 43
2 Katharine Evans (Saracens) 0
3 Catrin Edwards (Llandaff North & Wales) 70
4 Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere & Ireland) 54
5 Nora Baltruweit (Wasps & Germany) 2
6 Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere & Ireland) 40
7 Isabel Rico Vazquez (Olimpico de Pozuelo & Spain) 27
8 Rachel Taylor (Caernarfon & Wales, captain) 67
Replacements
16 Tracey Balmer (Worcester & Scotland) 43 caps
17 Rosemarie Jermine (Lichfield & England) 27
18 Amy Garnett (Saracens & England) 100
19 Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians & Ireland) 51
20 Sian Moore (Worcester & Wales) 19
21 Vicki Jackson (Wasps & England) 2
22 Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond & England) 9

Management

Head coach: Giselle Mather (Wasps). Assistant coach: Liza Burgess (Gloucester-Hartpury). Manager: Fiona Stockley. Assistant manager: Susie Brown. Physio: Alex Hunter.