Shane Williams joins Barbarians squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Shane Williams joins Barbarians squad

By Julian Guyer 13/11/2008 07:17:08 AM Comments (0)

Wales winger Shane Williams has been included in the Barbarians' squad for next month's Olympic Centenary match against Australia at Wembley Stadium.

Williams, a nominee for the International Rugby Board's player-of-the-year award, joins a squad packed full of star names.

He will be forced to compete for time with fellow wingers Springbok World Cup-winner Bryan Habana, New Zealand flyer Joe Rokocoko and the All Blacks' Rico Gear.

Also included among the backs are Australia great George Gregan and French rising star Francois Trinh-Duc.

The forwards in this 22-man squad for the December 3 fixture at London's Wembley Stadium feature two current Test captains in England's Steve Borthwick and New Zealand's Richie McCaw.

They will be alongside South Africa stars Schalk Burger and Bakkies Botha.

Jake White, who guided the Springboks to World Cup glory last year, will coach the squad.

"Assembling such a star-studded squad from several countries would not have been possible without the approval and cooperation of national unions and individual provinces and clubs and we are grateful for the support we continue to receive," Mike Burton, a member of the Barbarians committee and a former England international, said.

This latest high-profile match for the Barbarians, rugby union's most prestigious invitational side, celebrates 100 years since the Olympic Games were first staged in London, where they will be held again in 2012.

In 1908, Australia won the gold medal in the rugby union competition when they defeated a Great Britain side represented by the English west country county of Cornwall 32-3 in the final at White City Stadium.

To honour the county's role in that match, the Barbarians will depart from their usual practice of players wearing the socks of their home clubs and wear Cornwall socks instead.

The Barbarians, who have no ground of their own, are known for their commitment to attacking rugby. They traditionally field at least one uncapped player, in this instance Western Province back-row forward Nick Koster.

Last December, the Barbarians beat South Africa 22-5 at Twickenham.

Squad: Backs - Percy Montgomery (RSA), Bryan Habana (RSA), Joe Rococoko (NZL), Shane Williams (WAL), Rico Gear (NZL), Jean de Villiers (RSA), Ollie Smith (ENG), Francois Trinh-Duc (FRA), George Gregan (AUS), Fourie du Preez (RSA). Forwards - Richie McCaw (NZL), Jerry Collins (NZL), Schalk Burger (RSA), Nick Koster (Western Province/RSA), Chris Jack (NZL), Steve Borthwick (ENG), Bakkies Botha (RSA), Patrice Collazo (FRA), Carl Hayman (NZL), Gurthro Steenkamp (RSA), Mark Regan (ENG), John Smit (RSA)

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