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Kayla McAlister joins brother Luke in Barbarians' record books

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New Zealand’s Kayla McAlister will join brother Luke in the Barbarians' record books after being called into the squad for the women’s match against the Army at Aldershot. Admission to the match is free on March 17 (3pm).

The former World Sevens Player of the Year is now playing in Ireland and joins a cosmopolitan group with 729 international appearances between them.

She will complete the first brother-sister combination to represent the club after All Blacks centre Luke appeared for the Baa-baas against Australia at Twickenham in 2009.

There are eight different countries represented in a second outing for the Barbarians’ women’s team with the home nation contingent joined by McAlister, Nora Baltruweit (Germany), Isabel Rico Vazquez (Spain) and Jessica Wooden (USA).

"It’s a huge honour to be invited and I’m sure it’ll be a great environment, lots of camaraderie and the chance to play with lots of new people – it’s quite exciting to play with people you’d normally play against,” said McAlister, who won an Olympic silver medal with New Zealand in Rio de Janeiro.

“Luke tells me it’s a great opportunity to play without any pressure and very cool to meet all the new guys. It’ll be a very different style of play and great fun.”

Kayla McAlister

Kayla McAlister at the Dubai Sevens. Picture: Mike Lee - KLC fotos/World Rugby

McAlister moved to Galway with 10 month-old daughter Stella and husband Pita Ahki, who plays for Connacht, and made her 15-a-side debut for the Galwegians club against Blackrock last month.

The Barbarians beat Munster 19-0 in November’s historic first women’s match and nine of those players reappear, including Thomond Park try-scorer Georgina Roberts.

Saracens hooker Katharine Evans is the uncapped player and the new squad includes a dozen who have played in the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s league this season.

“It’s a very talented squad, quite experienced too and having many of those who played against Munster will give us some continuity,” said head coach Giselle Mather.

“More importantly, I’m sure they’ll be able to play the Barbarians way with skilful backs and powerful forwards, and that’s what excites me about the group.

Rachel Taylor in action against Munster

Wales's Rachel Taylor in action against Munster

“We’ll have our first players from the USA, Germany and Spain and it’s brilliant to get other countries involved. The word gets around, more people want to get involved and it keeps on raising the bar."

Admission is free to the Army Women v Barbarians match on Saturday, March 17 (3pm) at the Army Rugby Stadium, Queen’s Avenue, Aldershot GU11 2TD.

BARBARIANS SQUAD
Forwards
Tracey Balmer (Worcester & Scotland) 43 caps
Nora Baltruweit (Wasps & Germany) 2
Claire Cripps (Wasps & England) 43
Catrin Edwards (Llandaff North & Wales) 70
Katharine Evans (Saracens)
Amy Garnett (Saracens & England) 100
Rosemarie Jermine (Lichfield & England) 27
Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere & Ireland) 54
Isabel Rico Vazquez (Olimpico de Pozuelo & Spain) 27
Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere & Ireland) 40
Rachel Taylor (Caernarfon & Wales) 67
Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians & Ireland) 51
Backs
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond & England) 9
Elen Evans (Caernarfon & Wales) 73
Sydney Gregson (Bristol & England) 3
Vicki Jackson (Wasps & England) 2
Kayla McAlister (Galwegians & New Zealand) 20
Sian Moore (Worcester & Wales) 19
Georgina Roberts (DMP Sharks & England) 15
Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere & Ireland) 50
Tina Veale (Wasps & England) 2
Jessica Wooden (Harlequins & USA) 13
Management
Head coach: Giselle Mather (Wasps). Assistant coach: Liza Burgess (Gloucester-Hartpury). Manager: Fiona Stockley. Assistant manager: Susie Brown. Physio: Alex Hunter.