Veteran Jack named in Barbarians squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Veteran Jack named in Barbarians squad

07/05/2009 05:12:51 PM Comments (0)

Veteran All Blacks second-rower Chris Jack is among the latest high-profile international players confirmed for an historic showdown between the Barbarians and the Wallabies in Sydney next month.

For their first ever visit to Australia, the Barbarians Club are assembling a world-class combination, with Test stars from around the globe accepting invitations to wear the hooped black and white jersey for the Wallabies' opening international of the year at SFS on 6 June.

Jack was among four more players confirmed as starters on Thursday, with Irish fullback Geordan Murphy, South African prop BJ Botha and English utility back Iain Balshaw the others.

Between them, they boast 187 Test caps, adding to the well of experience already provided by the likes of former All Blacks halfback Justin Marshall, ex-England captain and back-rower Martin Corry and Wallabies flanker Rocky Elsom, who will play for the Barbarians against his native country.

Jack, the lineout ace with 67 Tests to his credit, is returning to New Zealand this year to resume his All Blacks career after a stint with English club Saracens.

Widely regarded as one of the top locks in the game, Jack made his debut for the All Blacks against Argentina in 2001 and in 2002 was New Zealand rugby's Player of the Year.

He headed to the UK after the 2007 World Cup.

Considered to be one of the finest fullbacks in Irish history, Murphy has represented his country on 63 occasions and was part of the national squad that won this year's Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam.

He made his first appearance in Irish colours in 2000 against USA and scored twice on debut.

In 2003, he was named Irish Player of the Season by the Irish Rugby Writers and two years later toured with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand, playing fullback in the third and final Test.

Botha was a key contributor to South Africa's World Cup success in France in 2007, with his four appearances at the tournament including the final against England.

The impressive Springboks prop played 32 games for the Sharks and 18 Tests for South Africa before heading to the Irish province of Ulster late last year.

He arrived on the international scene in 2006 at the age of 26, after playing every Super 14 match for the Durban-based Sharks that season.

Botha was selected to make his Test debut against New Zealand during the 2006 Tri Nations series.

Another World Cup winner, Balshaw played in England's victory over Australia in the 2003 decider at Sydney's Olympic Stadium.

He has played 35 matches for England since his debut in 2000 and a further three games for the British and Irish Lions.

He was selected for two Lions tours to Australia in 2001 and New Zealand in 2005 and was England's first-choice fullback during the 2008 Six Nations Championship.

The Barbarians squad, to be finalised next week, now boasts the following confirmed talent:

Backs - Sonny Bill Williams (Nzl), Justin Marshall (Nzl), Geordan Murphy (Ire), Luke McAlister (Nzl) , Seilala Mapusua (Samoa), Doug Howlett (Nzl), Josh Lewsey (Eng), Iain Balshaw (Eng).

Forwards - Rocky Elsom (Aus), Jerry Collins (Nzl), Martin Corry (Eng), Chris Jack (Nzl), BJ Botha (Rsa), Serge Betsen (Fra), Justin Harrison (Aus), Sebastien Bruno (Fra).

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