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Robbie Deans to coach Barbarians against Ireland and England

Robbie Deans will coach the Barbarians for their two high-profile matches against Ireland and an England XV this season.
The former Australia coach takes charge of the famous invitation side for the games at Thomond Park on May 28 and Twickenham Stadium on May 31.
The announcement takes place 42 years to the day that the Barbarians beat New Zealand 23-11 in Cardiff in the game containing rugby’s greatest try, scored by Gareth Edwards. This years contests mark another significant moment for the club, which on April 9th celebrates the 125th anniversary of its foundation.
Deans, who led the Wallabies from 2008 to 2013, is assembling a high quality side with Australia’s Berrick Barnes, New Zealand’s George Whitelock and Argentina’s Tomas Cubelli the first three recruits named.
“I count my trips back to the UK as special times in my rugby coaching career and a couple of fixtures against the third and fourth ranked rugby nations in a World Cup year are an exciting prospect,” said Deans. The Barbarians are an iconic team with a special place in rugby’s history and it is a privilege to be invited to be their coach. Their performances against England and Australia last year were outstanding and that is the standard we have to uphold."
The Barbarians' 39-29 victory over England last season was followed by last November's 40-36 defeat at the hands of Australia in one of the club’s best modern performances which included a classic length-of-the-field try finished by Marnitz Boshoff.
Deans now coaches Panasonic in the Japanese Top League, where fly half Barnes and flanker Whitelock play this season. Barnes, 28, won 51 caps for the Wallabies - the majority of them under Deans - while Whitelock, also 28, was capped by the All Blacks in 2009 and captained the Crusaders' side in Super 15. Both will represent the Barbarians for the first time.
Argentina scrum half Cubelli, 25, is set to feature in this year’s Rugby World Cup and won the most recent of his 34 caps in the Pumas’ 18-13 win against France last November. He appeared for the Barbarians against both England and Australia last year.
The Barbarians are also due to face Heriot’s on April 21 to celebrate the Edinburgh club’s 125th anniversary. Coach and team announcements for that match will take place in due course.
Tickets for the Ireland v Barbarians match are priced from €30 and family €50 (2 adult & 2 junior) terrace packs at www.ticketmaster.ie or 0818 719 300.
Tickets for the England XV v Barbarians match are priced from £35 and £15 for juniors (U16) at www.ticketmaster.co.uk or 0844 847 2492.  A special 2 for 1 offer on top price adult tickets is available until kick-off to the RBS 6 Nations on Friday, February 6 (booking fees apply).