Ellis back to take on New Zealand and Tonga

LAST year’s unbeaten Barbarians captain Andy Ellis returns for the famous invitation side for next month’s matches against New Zealand and Tonga – along with some of Super Rugby's most talented operators.

For tickets to Barbarians v New Zealand go to www.ticketmaster.co.uk

For tickets to Barbarians v Tonga go to www.ticketmaster.ie

The scrum half – a World Cup winner in 2011 – led the 2016 squad to a 31-31 draw against South Africa at Wembley before wins over the Czech Republic (71-0) and Fiji (40-7).

He and five other New Zealanders will face the All Blacks in the Killik Cup match at Twickenham on November 4 before the squad heads to Thomond Park to take on Tonga on November 10.

Also called up are the Crusaders’ Super Rugby winning playmakers Mitchell Drummond and Richie Mo’unga, Chiefs prop Atu Moli and lock Dominic Bird and Highlanders flanker Dillon Hunt.

Andy Ellis

Andy Ellis celebrates scoring at Wembley

The Barbarians will make further announcements in the run-up to the squad's assembly in London next Monday.

There is an unmistakeable Crusaders flavour to this first group of Barbarian recruits. 

Ellis and Bird are former players, Head Coach Robbie Deans was Super Rugby’s most successful boss in his spell with the Canterbury franchise, and current Crusaders chief Scott Robertson is Deans’s assistant on the two-match trip.

Drummond, Mo’unga, Moli, Bird and Hunt – part of the Highlanders side that beat the Lions in June – will join up with the full New Zealand squad on the France leg of the All Blacks’ European tour.