The Golden Lions Rugby Union announced on Friday that three of their Super Rugby stars, all of whom are forwards, have been invited by the Barbarians for their three matches against the Springboks, the Czech Republic and Fiji.
Akker van der Merwe (hooker), Kwagga Smit (flank) and Ruan Ackermann (loose forward) will all be in the Barbarian squad, joining Cheetahs fullback Clayton Blommetjies.
The official Barbarian website report that Super Rugby champions and some of New Zealand’s most talented up and coming stars will join the Barbarians to take on South Africa in the Killik Cup match at Wembley Stadium on November 5.
Forwards Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa and Reggie Goodes helped the Hurricanes end a 20-year wait for the title and will be accompanied by Richard Mo’unga and Jordan Taufua from the Crusaders, and Matt Faddes and Luke Whitelock from the Highlanders.
They join New Zealand’s Andy Ellis, and Australia’s Taquele Naiyaravoro and Will Skelton in the squad being put together by coaches Robbie Deans and Will Greenwood as the famous invitation club targets a hat trick of wins over the side ranked No.4 in the world.
After taking on South Africa at Wembley, the Barbarians play the Czech Republic in Prague on November 8 before facing Fiji at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on November 11.
Deans said: “This is a talented group of young men with the potential to play at the very highest level, and they will all be hungry to impress in their time with the Barbarians. Alongside the more experienced players in the squad we should have a very competitive group.”
The Barbarians take on South Africa for eighth time since 1952 and lead the series 4-3 after victories in 2007 and 2010.
The 125 year-old 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.