Two more of South Africa’s world-beating pack have been confirmed alongside Wallabies star Quade Cooper to play for the Barbarians against Samoa at Twickenham on November 27 for the Killik Cup.
Steven Kitshoff, a formidable presence during the Springboks’ epic win over New Zealand in the Rugby Championship last weekend, will make his second appearance for the world-famous Barbarians alongside another pillar of the Rugby World Cup 2019 triumph in Japan, debutant Barbarian Frans Malherbe.
A winner at the Junior World Cup in 2012, prop Kitshoff has proved a worthy successor to the celebrated Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira, developing rapidly from a Test novice into one of the best on either side of the scrum.
Kitshoff and Malherbe, in action during all three Tests of the series win against the Lions last summer, will join the BaaBaas along with two more Boks, hooker Malcolm Marx and the Ulster-bound No. 8 Duane Vermeulen.
The presence of a quartet with a combined weight of almost 500 kilograms will give BaaBaas head coach Dave Rennie the luxury of picking half the pack whose collective power provided the foundation of South Africa’s 20-point win over England in the Rugby World Cup final at Yokohama.
Pablo Matera, who captained Argentina to their historic win over the All Blacks last year, is another major figure in the Twickenham squad with more names to be announced in the coming weeks.
Rennie, whose Australia squad finish their Autumn Series against Wales in Cardiff on November 20, will have at least four of the Wallabies side at his disposal in the famous Barbarian black-and-white – Quade Cooper, Len Ikitau, Nic White and Pete Samu.
Recalled to the international stage after an absence of four years, Cooper responded by playing a pivotal role in back-to-back doubles against South Africa and Argentina – a four-in-a-row first for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship.
The veteran fly-half will be 35 when the next Rugby World Cup comes around in two years’ time, but Rennie has no doubts about Cooper’s ability to be there on merit.
Ikitau has already proved himself one of the best international newcomers of the year. The Brumbies’ centre, 23 last week, credits a former England A fly-half for his meteoric rise: Shane Drahm. An Australian picked for England’s second string in 2006 during his time at Worcester, Drahm discovered Ikitau as rugby coach at Brisbane Boys’ College.
‘’Shane believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself,’’ says Ikitau. ‘’He told me that I was going to be an awesome rugby player. I didn’t believe it, but he was the one who gave me the opportunity.’’
Scrum-half White spent three seasons in the Premiership at Exeter before re-joining the Brumbies. Back row forward Samu, another Brumby, has renewed his Wallaby career under Rennie after falling out of favour with the previous coach, Michael Cheika.
More than 35,000 tickets have already been sold for the Barbarians’ autumn fixture with club President John Spencer promising spectators “an unforgettable rugby experience.”
Samoa, who lost a thriller 27-24 to the Barbarians at London’s Olympic Stadium just before the Rugby World Cup 2015, regards the Twickenham fixture as a financial lifeline. Their reward is likely to be a six-figure sum, manna from heaven for the development of the game in Samoa.
‘’The Barbarian Football Club has a long tradition of helping many nations across the rugby world,’’ a spokesperson says.
‘’It goes all the way back to the very first international the club played, against Australia in Cardiff on New Year’s Day 1948.
‘’The Wallabies needed money to pay for a roundabout trip home via Canada. The Home Unions’ Tours committee awarded the Barbarians the fixture and it proved a great success in helping the Australians foot the travel bill. We are very happy to be continuing that great tradition.’’
Barbarian Women will take on a Springbok Women’s XV following the men’s match at 5.15pm and ticket prices include both matches. Secure your seats early and be part of the action from *£35 for adults and kids *£15. Visit: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians
The Killik Cup Double Header – Twickenham Stadium
Saturday 27November 2021
Barbarians v Samoa – kick-off 2.30pm
Barbarian Women v Springbok Women’s XV – kick-off 5.15pm
(Matches are subject to licences being granted by the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames)
England announce exciting Autumn Series
England men will play four home matches at Twickenham Stadium as part of the 2022 Autumn Nations Series.
England will first take on the same two teams that they will face in their opening 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool D fixtures – beginning their campaign against Argentina [Sunday 6 November], followed by Japan [Saturday 12 November].
Eddie Jones’ side will then play New Zealand on Saturday 19 November for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final, where England beat the three-time world champions 19-7.
Their final game is against world champions South Africa [Saturday 26 November]. Last month, in a tightly contested game England beat the Springboks 27-26 with an 80th-minute penalty.
Jones said: “These fixtures will be a really important part of our preparation for the 2023 World Cup.
“It’s almost a mini World Cup in itself and we’re fortunate to have it less than a year before the tournament.
“It will be a good litmus test for the team to see where we are at, culminating in playing first and second in the world.
“We saw how much of a difference having a full Twickenham Stadium was this autumn and we can’t wait to play a series of games against such quality opposition in front of our supporters.”
Hospitality packages are on sale now via EnglandRugby.com/Hospitality and wider ticket details will be issued early in 2022.
Kick off times will be confirmed in coming weeks.
Full fixtures (all KOs TBC)
England v Argentina Sunday 6 November 2022
England v Japan Saturday 12 November 2022
England v New Zealand Saturday 19 November 2022
England v South Africa Saturday 26 November 2022
Garry Ringrose Signs New Three Year IRFU Contract
Ireland centre Garry Ringrose has signed a three year IRFU contract which will see him continue to play with Leinster until the end of the 2024/25 season.
Garry started all three of Ireland’s Autumn Nations Series fixtures having missed the summer Tests through injury. Garry made his Ireland debut against Canada in the 2016 Guinness November Series and has since represented his country on 37 occasions scoring 10 tries.
A grand slam winner in 2018 Garry also starred on the summer tour of Australia and started four or Ireland’s Rugby World Cup fixtures in Japan in 2019.
The former Ireland U20 has made 90 senior appearances for Leinster scoring 28 tries and has won a European Champions Cup (2018) and four PRO rugby titles (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) with his province.
IRFU High Performance Director, David Nucifora commented,
“Garry has had a tough road with injuries since the World Cup in Japan but he is a top international player who delivers big performances for Ireland and Leinster. He will be an influential figure at both national and provincial level over the coming years.”
Garry Ringrose commented, “Delighted to sign for another three years. It is an exciting time to be involved with Leinster and Ireland. Both squads have ambition to be competing for silverware every year and I’m motivated to do whatever I can to contribute”
World Rugby approves birth right amendment for players to transfer unions
- New process can benefit players and the global competitiveness of rugby
- Fairness and integrity key principles that underpin the framework
- Approval follows extensive discussion and collaboration across the game
- Revised Regulation will apply from 1 January 2022
The World Rugby Council has approved an amendment to the sport’s regulations governing national team representation that will now permit an international player to transfer once from one union to another subject to demonstrating a close and credible link to that union via birth right.
From 1 January, 2022, in order to transfer from one union to another under the revised Regulation 8 (eligibility), a player will need to achieve the below criteria:
- The player must stand-down from international rugby for 36 months
- The player must either be born in the country to which they wish to transfer or have a parent or grandparent born in that country
- Under the revised Regulation 8 criteria, a player may only change union once and each case will be subject to approval by the World Rugby Regulations Committee to preserve integrity
After 1 January 2022, any player who meets the above criteria can apply immediately for a transfer.
The Regulation 8 revisions will also align the “age of majority” across 15s and sevens. All players will now be ‘captured’ at 18 years of age to simplify the Regulation and improve union understanding and compliance.
Approval of the amended regulation follows requests by emerging nations and a subsequent wide-ranging consultation process with member unions, regions and International Rugby Players examining the possibility of amending the principle within Regulation that stipulates that a player may only represent one union at international level, save for specific circumstances relating to participation in the Olympic Games.
The benefits of the amendment include:
- Simplicity and alignment: transfers are currently permitted in the context of participation in the Olympics in the sevens game. This amendment will create one aligned, simplified process across the game
- Development of emerging nations: the player depth of emerging nations may be improved by permitting players, who have close and credible links to the “emerging union” through birth or ancestry, to “return” to those unions having previously represented another union
- Player-focused approach: the process recognised the modern rugby environment, including global player movement, the current ability to capture players by selecting them on the bench, and the desire of some players to transfer having been selected a limited number of times for one union. It also examined the impact of any change on the integrity of the international competition landscape.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Approval of this landmark regulatory change is the culmination of detailed and widespread modelling and consultation across the game. We have listened to our membership and players and sought to update the regulation recognising the modern professional rugby environment without compromising the integrity of the international game.
“Any player who wishes to transfer will need to have a close and credible link to their new union, namely birth right or parent or grandparent birth right while meeting strong criteria, including a 36-month stand down period. We believe that this is the fairest way to implement progressive change that puts players first while also having the potential to support a growing, increasingly competitive international men’s and women’s game.”
World Rugby Vice-Chairman Bernard Laporte added: “We have listened to our membership and honoured our pledge to undertake wide-ranging review of this important regulation. We have consulted, sought feedback from our unions, regions and most importantly to players’ representatives, before making a recommendation to the Council. This change to how international rugby operates will provide transformational opportunities to players with dual backgrounds, providing they meet the key criteria sets out in the Regulation 8.”
International Rugby Players CEO, Omar Hassanein said:“The proposal to change the rules around player eligibility is something that we have worked on over many years with our member associations. Many players across the world will now benefit from the chance to represent the country of their or their ancestors’ birth, serving as a real boost to the competitiveness of emerging nations, which in turn, will benefit the game as a whole.”