Cooper, Kitshoff and Malherbe to join Barbarians

Steven Kitshoff v Argentina 2018.jpg

Two more of South Africa’s world-beating pack have been confirmed alongside Wallabies star Quade Cooper to play for the Barbarians against Samoa at Twickenham on November 27 for the Killik Cup.

Steven Kitshoff, a formidable presence during the Springboks’ epic win over New Zealand in the Rugby Championship last weekend, will make his second appearance for the world-famous Barbarians alongside another pillar of the Rugby World Cup 2019 triumph in Japan, debutant Barbarian Frans Malherbe.

A winner at the Junior World Cup in 2012, prop Kitshoff has proved a worthy successor to the celebrated Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira, developing rapidly from a Test novice into one of the best on either side of the scrum.

Kitshoff and Malherbe, in action during all three Tests of the series win against the Lions last summer, will join the BaaBaas along with two more Boks, hooker Malcolm Marx and the Ulster-bound No. 8 Duane Vermeulen.     

The presence of a quartet with a combined weight of almost 500 kilograms will give BaaBaas head coach Dave Rennie the luxury of picking half the pack whose collective power provided the foundation of South Africa’s 20-point win over England in the Rugby World Cup final at Yokohama. 

Pablo Matera, who captained Argentina to their historic win over the All Blacks last year, is another major figure in the Twickenham squad with more names to be announced in the coming weeks.

Rennie, whose Australia squad finish their Autumn Series against Wales in Cardiff on November 20, will have at least four of the Wallabies side at his disposal in the famous Barbarian black-and-white – Quade Cooper, Len Ikitau, Nic White and Pete Samu.

Recalled to the international stage after an absence of four years, Cooper responded by playing a pivotal role in back-to-back doubles against South Africa and Argentina – a four-in-a-row first for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship.   

The veteran fly-half will be 35 when the next Rugby World Cup comes around in two years’ time, but Rennie has no doubts about Cooper’s ability to be there on merit. 

Barbarian FC President John Spencer said: “The Barbarians are building a hugely exciting squad for the Killik Cup on Saturday 27 November at Twickenham. I’m thrilled to be announcing three more world-class players to face Samoa and welcoming Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Quade Cooper to the club.

“It will be an unforgettable day of rugby with our first-ever Killik Cup Double Header featuring two action-packed matches: Barbarians v Samoa and Barbarian Women v Springbok Women’s XV.

“We look forward to seeing rugby fans, families and anyone who wants a great day out!"

Samoa last played the Barbarians ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2015, losing in a thriller of a match 27-24 at London’s Olympic Stadium.

More than 35,000 tickets have already been sold for the Barbarians’ November fixtures, which features the first-ever Barbarians' "home" double header.

Barbarian Women will take on a Springbok Women’s XV following the men’s match at 5.15pm and ticket prices include both matches. Secure your seats now and be part of the action from *£35 for adults and kids *£15. Visit: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians

(*Booking fees apply).