The Killik Cup will be on the line on Sunday 28 May (kick-off 3pm), as Jones goes head-to-head with former New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen – who leads a World XV in what is set to be an unmissable clash in London.
General admission tickets go on sale on Tuesday 13th December – 10:00 AM from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians, with a special early-bird offer from £25* for Adults and £15* for Under-16s.
Jones is named head coach of the Barbarians for the second time, with his side edged out 33-31 by Fiji in what was a rollercoaster Killik Cup clash at Twickenham in November 2019.
The 62-year-old has coached a raft of the world’s best players in an illustrious 28-year career, which has seen Jones take Australia and England to the Rugby World Cup final in 2003 and 2019 respectively, help South Africa win the Webb Ellis Cup in 2007 as part of Jake White’s coaching staff, and lead England to three Six Nations titles (including a 2016 Grand Slam).
“It’s an incredible honour to be asked to coach the Barbarians for a second time,” said Jones.
“The club showed during the autumn that the values and traditions which make the Barbarians so special are still very much alive. Fans can expect to see two top-quality teams, packed full of international players, going all out to catch the eye ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
“I am very much looking forward to returning to Twickenham Stadium – a venue I have so many fond memories of – as head coach of the Barbarians, and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show.
“Going up against Steve rekindles a great rivalry which first started in our days competing in Super Rugby and progressed into the international arena. It’ll be a great challenge and one I’m sure we’re both relishing.”
The fixture against Hansen’s World XV marks the first return to HQ for the Barbarians since a stunning 52-21 victory over England in June.
It follows a busy autumn campaign which saw Baa-baas sides coached by Scott Robertson, Ronan O’Gara, John Mulvihill and Geordan Murphy play four fixtures in November.
After retaining the Killik Cup courtesy of a 35-31 win over an All Blacks XV in front of 35,000 people at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a last-gasp Barbarians triumph over Bath Rugby was sandwiched by two defeats to Northampton Saints and Harlequins – with the club springing to the aid of Premiership clubs looking to fill gaps in their schedules following the cancellation of all league fixtures involving Wasps and Worcester Warriors.
Meanwhile, this will be the first convening of a World XV for five years, and Hansen – a Rugby World Cup winner during his seven-year stint at the helm of the All Blacks – is relishing the prospect.
Hansen said: “2023 is set to be an incredible year for rugby and I’m really excited to be returning to Twickenham.
“I’ve coached both for and against the Barbarians during my career, and while you always have to expect the unexpected where they are concerned, you can be certain that come Sunday 28 May we’ll have a hugely entertaining match played in a festival atmosphere.
“The Rugby World Cup will be firmly on the horizon when this match comes around, and we hope we can showcase many of the players who will go on to be stars of the tournament in France during this Killik Cup clash.”
General admission tickets go on sale from Tuesday 13th December 10:00 AM. Visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians – early-bird offer from £25* for Adults and £15* for Under-16s.
For a 10% discount on groups of 10 or more visit www.eticketing.co.uk/rfu/events
Hospitality packages are available to purchase from £299 per person via www.twickenhamstadium.com
*booking fees apply
NZR announces All Blacks home Tests in Auckland and Dunedin
The All Blacks will play two Tests on home turf this year against South Africa in Auckland and Australia in Dunedin.
The Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship 2023 schedule will see the All Blacks play South Africa at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland on Saturday 15 July. The Bledisloe Cup returns to Dunedin for the first time since 2017, in a rare afternoon home Test match (2.35PM kick off) for the All Blacks at Forsyth Barr Stadium on 5 August.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said:
“The Rugby Championship is an exciting but tough draw.”
“Playing the Argentinians in Argentina is an exciting challenge after not being there since 2019. With the challenges of stadium availability in Australasia, we are delighted to play this huge South African Test at Mt Smart. We believe it’s key for the connection with our fans to have this massive game in our backyard and can’t wait.
“The Dunedin Test is also equally important for us because it’s our last chance to play in front of our fans before we head off for an exciting Rugby World Cup.”
The two home Tests will be part of a 2023 schedule which will see the All Blacks play five Tests in the build up to the Rugby World Cup in France in September.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Head of Professional Rugby and Performance Chris Lendrum said it was important to the All Blacks to be able to play in Aotearoa in a Rugby World Cup year.
“Although there is a shortened Rugby Championship schedule, there will no doubt be an edge to the Test matches played this year. The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup remain vitally important to New Zealand Rugby, I know Foz [Foster] and the team are looking forward to the season kicking off as they continue to build ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September.”
The All Blacks Test matches will be broadcast exclusive to Sky, live and on demand. Pre-sale and public sale tickets to the All Blacks Test Matches will go on sale in early May, with exact dates to be confirmed. The Black Ferns schedule will also be announced in due course.
All Blacks 2023 Test Schedule
The Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship
vs Argentina, Saturday 8 July, Estadio Malvinas Argentina, MENDOZA
vs South Africa, Saturday 15 July, 7.05PM, Mt Smart Stadium, AUCKLAND
vs Australia, 29 July, location and time TBC (Bledisloe Cup match one)
Bledisloe Cup (match two)
vs Australia, Saturday 5 August, 2.35PM, Forsyth Barr Stadium, DUNEDIN
vs South Africa, Friday 25 August, 7.30PM, Twickenham Stadium, LONDON
About the Bledisloe Cup
Lord Bledisloe, Governor General of New Zealand from 1930 to 1935, bequeathed a trophy to the New Zealand Rugby Union with his name on it for perpetual competition between the All Blacks and Wallabies. The two countries have been playing for the Bledisloe Cup since 1931 and it is the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy in rugby union.
The All Blacks are current holders of the Bledisloe Cup.
Blade And Milne Join Ireland Squad For France Week
Connacht scrum-half Caolin Blade and Leinster loosehead prop Michael Milne have joined the Ireland squad today as the group assembled this afternoon at the IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin.
Blade was capped against the USA in July 2021 while the uncapped Milne was part of the Emerging Ireland squad that competed in Bloemfontein in the Autumn.
Jamison Gibson-Park and Cian Healy, who were both late withdrawals from the Wales game due to hamstring injuries, have been ruled out of contention for the France game. Tadhg Furlong, who is rehabbing a calf issue, is also not being considered for selection this week.
Gibson Park, Healy and Furlong will continue their rehab programmes with the Ireland medical team.
Johnny Sexton will complete the HIA process later today and Ronan Kelleher is due to return to training this week.
Roman Salanoa and Tom Stewart who joined the squad last week have been retained for preparations ahead of Round 2 of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championships
Ireland Squad 2023 Guinness Six Nations – Round 2:
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 42 caps
Caolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegians) 1 cap
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 15 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 8 caps
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 98 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht/Corinthians) 9 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 26 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Marys College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 16 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 10 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 101 caps
Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 3 caps
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas) *
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 110 caps (c)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 28 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 37 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 34 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 24 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 69 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 32 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 49 caps
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) 1 cap
Michael Milne (Leinster/UCD) *
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 90 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 5 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 49 caps
Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians) 1 cap
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 49 caps
Roman Salanoa (Munster/Shannon) *
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 14 caps
Tom Stewart (Ulster/Ballynahinch) *
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 46 cap
*denotes uncapped player
2023 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures:
IRELAND v France
Saturday 11th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio
Italy v IRELAND
Saturday 25th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio
Scotland v IRELAND
Sunday 12th March 2023, KO 15:00 (IST)
RTE TV / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radio
IRELAND v England
Saturday 18th March 2023, KO 17:00 (IST)
VIRGIN / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio
Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography
Eddie upbeat for ‘intriguing’ World Cup
Eddie Jones admits the Wallabies are in the chasing pack but still close enough to catch the favourites and win September’s Rugby World Cup.
Jones, after a 15-minute technical glitch, gave his first wide-ranging interview from England on Thursday after his shock appointment on Monday.
He said the battle to wear the No.10 jersey in France was wide open, touched on the side’s ill-discipline and current eligibility laws, assessed the health of the code in Australia and had a neat return-of-serve to rugby league powerbroker Peter V’landys in the latest code-war chapter.
But when asked if he genuinely thought the inconsistent world No.6 side could win the World Cup this year, he was serious.
“There’s no long term; the whole thing is to win the World Cup in 2023,” said Jones, who is on a five-year contract.
“We have to concentrate on areas that will make the biggest difference to the performance of the team and we have to get selection right.
“And we’ve got to create an environment where players are going to give that little bit more, because nobody knows how much they can give.”
Jones will have just five Tests to prepare his men before the Cup and he turned to racing parlance to assess the current power rankings.
He says feels there’s still time for the field to settle with the team who improves the most between now and October set for victory.
“At the moment France and Ireland, in a horse race they’re at the front on the top of the rise,” he said.
“But there’s still plenty of work to do.
“Australia and England are nestled behind them and the team that improves the most over the next nine months will win the World Cup.
“This is the most intriguing World Cup we’ve ever seen.
“Throw in the volatility of the refereeing at the moment with red and yellow cards.
“You’ve got all these things happening that give us this massive opportunity.”
He said every player would have a chance to “select themselves” in club rugby and that replacing Rennie before his contract was to expire at the end of this year wasn’t in his control.
“I wasn’t thinking, ‘I can do this better than Dave, or, I’m a better person’, it’s not that at all,” he said.
“It’s the fact that there was an opportunity there that as an Australian when you get a chance to coach your country you want to do it, mate.”
In a boost for James O’Connor’s hopes after he was cut from Rennie’s extended squad, Jones said he’d base selection on Super Rugby Pacific form and keep an eye on his foreign-based playmakers.
But Jones admits time isn’t on his side when it comes to settling on a preferred partnership, with rival five-eighth Quade Cooper’s recovery from an Achilles tear counting against him.
“We are going to have to decide quite quickly who we think are the best nines and tens and 12s, particularly, to try and build up that cohesion,” he said.
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