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Pride of Lions take on South Africa with Barbarians

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SEVEN aspiring Springboks are in the Barbarians squad taking on South Africa at Wembley Stadium on November 5.

The famous invitation club completed its squad selection by calling up four players - flankers Ruan Ackermann and Kwagga Smith, lock Martin Muller and hooker Akker van der Merwe - from the Lions franchise that reached the 2016 Super Rugby final.

They are joined by Cheetahs full back Clayton Blommetjies - a try-scoring Currie Cup winner last weekend - Stormers fly half Robert du Preez and Montpellier’s former Lions prop Schalk van der Merwe.

Open side flanker Smith has returned to the 15-a-side game after an outstanding spell in the South Africa sevens side that earned him a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. He went on to captain the Lions Currie Cup team this term.

They join the Barbarians for the Killik Cup match against South Africa on November 5 before taking on the Czech Republic in Prague on November 8 and Fiji at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on November 11.

The latest invitations take to 26 the number of players assembled by Robbie Deans, who is being assisted by former England centre Will Greenwood.

Deans has some of Super Rugby’s most exciting young talent at his disposal as well as Test players from four nations in New Zealand’s Andy Ellis, Seta Tamanivalu and Luke Whitelock, Australia’s Sam Carter, Luke Morahan, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Paddy Ryan and Toby Smith, South Africa’s Ruan Pienaar and Ireland’s Dan Tuohy.

On November 5 the Barbarians face South Africa for the eighth time since 1952 and lead the series 4-3 after victories in 2007 and 2010.

The 125 year-old invitation club won 26-20 in 2010 when tries from Australia’s Drew Mitchell (2), James O’Connor and Italy’s Quintin Geldenhuys secured victory. 

In 2007 the Barbarians were the first side to beat the newly-crowned World Champions with a 22-5 win that saw Australia’s Matt Giteau and Rocky Elsom, and Wales’s Martyn Williams touch down.

Tickets to the Barbarians v South Africa match for the Killik Cup at Wembley Stadium are available from £20* Visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk Other tickets from £40 adults, £20 concessions (U18 & 60+) & family packages. (*Limited tickets available. Booking fees apply)

BARBARIANS SQUAD BIOGRAPHIES
Ruan Ackermann (Lions) Flanker, 20, 1.93m, 108kg
Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs) Lock, 28, 1.98m, 110kg
Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia) Lock, 27, 2.01m, 116kg
Robert du Preez (Stormers) Fly half, 23, 1.92m, 96kg
Andy Ellis (Crusaders/Kobelco & New Zealand), Scrum half, 32, 1.76m, 86kg
Matt Faddes (Highlanders) Centre, 24, 1.85m, 93kg
Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes) Lock, 24, 1.99m, 106kg
Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes) Prop, 24, 1.84m, 112kg
Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders) Fly half, 22, 1.76m, 83kg
Luke Morahan (Force & Australia) Wing, 27, 1.88m, 95kg
Martin Muller (Lions), Lock, 28, 1.98m, 110kg
Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs/Panasonic & Australia) Wing, 24, 1.94m, 123kg
Melani Nanai (Blues) Wing/full back, 23, 1.94m, 90kg
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster & South Africa) Scrum half, 31, 1.87m, 92kg
Andrew Ready (Reds) Hooker, 23, 1.80m, 107kg
Paddy Ryan (Waratahs & Australia) Prop, 28, 1.89m, 120kg
Brad Shields (Hurricanes) Flanker, 25, 1.93m, 111kg
Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia) Prop, 28, 1.90m, 115kg
Kwagga Smith (Lions) Flanker, 23, 1.80m, 90kg
Nic Stirzaker (Rebels) Scrum half, 25, 1.79m, 83kg
Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders & New Zealand) Centre, 24, 1.89m, 104kg
Jordan Taufua (Crusaders) Flanker, 24, 1.89m, 108kg
Dan Tuohy (Ulster & Ireland) Lock, 31, 1.96m, 119kg
Akker van der Merwe (Lions) Hooker, 25, 1.78m, 108kg
Schalk van der Merwe (Montpellier) Prop, 25, 1.84m, 105kg
Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand) No.8, 25, 1.90m, 104kg