Habana and Burger on the Barbarians' 2009 triumph against the All Blacks


SUPERSTARS Bryan Habana and Schalk Burger played starring roles the last time the Barbarians stunned New Zealand. In the build-up to the next meeting of the sides, here is their story of the making of rugby history.

The Barbarians invitation side are world famous for their exploits against the All Blacks in 1973 — one of rugby’s greatest games.

But the class of 2009 repeated the feat after just a week together in preparation. Wing Habana scored a hat-trick of tries and flanker Burger starred in a back row that dominated in the 25-18 victory.

That ability to forge friendships and put an effective game plan in place will be tested once more when the Barbarians take on New Zealand again in the Killik Cup match at Twickenham Stadium on November 4.

For tickets to the historic rematch, go to www.ticketmaster.co.uk

In 2009, the Barbarians side included the likes of George Smith, Matt Giteau and Jamie Roberts, and the different nations bonded quickly together under coach Nick Mallett.

Habana scores his second try against New Zealand

Habana scored a hat-trick of tries at Twickenham

"It’s been fantastic to experience playing for the Barbarians, playing against the Barbarians and watching them from afar,” said Habana.

“The calibre of players we had in that side was amazing. It was great scoring the tries but it was the  guys inside me who created the magic. 

"From that first minute there was that belief and we showed it to the last minute when Schalk Burger and George Smith won a turnover from the final play of the game for us to kick it out and win. 

"It was special to be part of a Barbarians side that beat the All Blacks. It happens so rarely and you try and keep those memories alive. Scoring the three tries and being man of the match was special. It’s a memory that will last a lifetime.”

Bryan Habana races away to score his second try

Habana heads for the line for his second score

Burger has appeared against New Zealand, Australia and Fiji for the Barbarians and joked that he enjoyed the environment so much he would willingly sign a 10-year contract with the club. 

He played a key role against the All Blacks and was still going strong in the final moments with a tackle and turnover win that secured the victory.

“The first thing that stands out is meeting all these great guys and legends,” Burger said. "My first appearance was in 2004 and you didn’t know what it was going to be like - then suddenly you realise what it’s all about.

"You don’t get to mingle much these days and it was amazing. You put all your perceptions of people to one side, broke all the barriers down. It’s one of rugby’s great traditions. 

Schalk Burger at Twickenham

Schalk Burger was at his rampaging best against New Zealand

"You play against tough guys and you not sure what they’re like. Chris Latham was quite a cocky player, then you met him and learned what a great family guy he was and what a great bloke. Jerry Collins was a real intimidating figure but you spent time with him and learned that he’s a rugby man through and through.”

Get it right off the pitch and you can get it right when it matters is the message.

"In 2009 South Africa had beaten New Zealand three times and Nick Mallett and Alan Solomons were coaching the Barbarians and there were a lot of Springboks in the team,” said Burger.

"By the weekend we knew we had a chance. Bryan Habana scored a couple of early tries, then you start believing and you instinctively do the right things. The Barbarians reputation is something you want to enhance.”

The 2009 Barbarians celebrate after beating New Zealand

Celebrations inside the Barbarians changing room at Twickenham