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Historic rivalry makes Barbarians our perfect match, say New Zealand

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New Zealand Rugby have formally confirmed they will celebrate their 125th anniversary by renewing a historic rivalry with the Barbarians on November 4 at Twickenham. Tickets to the game go on general public sale on Wednesday, May 10 at 9am from www.ticketmaster.co.uk

It will be the first time the All Blacks return to the stadium since their 2015 World Cup victory and it is their 11th meeting with the famous invitation club.

The sides meet in the match for the Killik Cup in what NZR CEO Steve Tew described as “the most appropriate way to mark our milestone."

The Barbarians v New Zealand fixture revives memories of the club’s famous 23-11 win over the All Blacks in 1973 adorned by Gareth Edwards’s great try.

And the Barbarians won the last meeting at Twickenham in 2009, when wing Bryan Habana’s hat-trick secured a 25-18 victory.

Tew said: “We are delighted to announce the match against the Barbarians. Like the All Blacks, the Barbarians are part of rugby’s rich history and the match later this year is a fitting way to mark our 125th anniversary. 

"Playing the Barbarians is always a special occasion and we think our shared history makes this game the most appropriate way to mark our milestone.”

Barbarians President Micky Steele-Bodger said: “We’re delighted to be renewing one of rugby’s great rivalries at Twickenham on November 4 and we believe it will be another classic encounter between two famous teams.

“The Barbarians expect to bring together some of the world’s greatest players to take on the All Blacks and to play with the style and attacking flair that the club’s traditions demand.”

The Barbarians were in vintage form in 2016, scoring 22 tries in three matches against international opponents, drawing 31-31 with South Africa before wins over the Czech Republic (71-0) and Fiji (40-7).

They take on England on May 28 and Ulster on June 1 before facing New Zealand, who will be making their first appearance in the UK following their summer three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions.

The Barbarians v New Zealand match is being organised by TLA Worldwide in conjunction with International Sports Investments with the support of the Barbarians and NZR. TLA Worldwide have previously worked with NZR organising sell-out matches for the All Blacks in the USA against the USA in 2014 and against Ireland in 2016.  

The Chairman of TLA Worldwide Bart Campbell said: “What a fitting way to mark such a significant milestone - the World Champions against one of the most famous teams in world rugby.  It will be a free-flowing display that will showcase the best rugby has to offer."

Tickets for the match will go on general public sale at 9am on Wednesday, May 10 from www.ticketmaster.co.uk