THE first four recruits to the Barbarians men’s squad to take on England, Brazil and Wales in November have been confirmed — as well as a key refereeing appointment.

England boss Eddie Jones is in charge of the squad facing Fiji at Twickenham on November 16 while Warren Gatland takes on Wales in Cardiff on November 30 immediately after handing over the reins to his successor Wayne Pivac.

Both coaches will have a superstar squad to call on and we already know that invitations to play have been accepted by South Africa great Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, France’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Argentina’s Ramiro Herrera.

Exciting new Springboks scrum half Herschel Jantjies will be making his Barbarians’ debut after scoring four tries in his first four international starts this summer.

There is a unique match official appointment for the final game with Welsh referee Nigel Owens taking charge of a Wales match for the first time after receiving special dispensation from World Rugby. 

Whatever happens in Japan, Gatland can expect a hero’s send-off in before he returns to his home town of Hamilton, where he will coach the Chiefs in the Super Rugby tournament next year before taking up the challenge of a third British & Irish Lions tour in South Africa in 2021.


Tendai Mtawarira in action for the Baa-baas against New Zealand

“It goes without saying that this match will have huge significance to me. Wales has been my home for the last 12 years and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” said Gatland.

“To have the opportunity to return to Cardiff after the World Cup is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to coaching the Barbarians in what I believe is the best rugby stadium in the world and against the best fans in the world.”

On November 16 the first leg of the double header sees Wales women take on the Barbarians women’s side who faced the USA and England earlier this year. 

Wales wing Jazz Joyce recently scored four tries for Barbarians Women against the USA and was one of three Welsh caps in the side that faced England at Twickenham.

“Playing the Barbarians for the first time, in a double header at Principality Stadium is a huge statement of intent for women’s rugby in Wales,” said Wales Women head coach Rowland Phillips.

“We saw the quality of the Baa-baas’ side in their recent matches against USA and England and they will no doubt bring a formidable outfit to Cardiff in November,”

“It has been a huge honour to have three current Wales players – Elinor Snowsill, Jazz Joyce and Alisha Butchers – involved in the Barbarians’ first two international games. All three made an excellent contribution to the club.”

Both matches in Cardiff will be broadcast live with the women’s match kicking off at 11.45am on S4C and Channel 4 taking over broadcast coverage at the Principality Stadium for the men’s game which kicks-off at 2.45pm.