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Barbarians will be 'incredibly strong'

11/05/2009 12:36:07 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says his team will be up against an "incredibly strong" Barbarians outfit in their first outing of 2009.

Irish centre Gordon D'Arcy (41 Tests), All Blacks prop Greg Somerville (57 Tests), Welsh prop Iestyn Thomas (33 Tests) and South African five-eighth Peter Grant (5 Tests) have become the latest players confirmed for the match at Sydney Football Stadium on June 6.

Several more players will be confirmed in coming days to finalise the touring party that will play England at Twickenham on May 30 before heading to Australia.

It will be the touring Barbarians club's first-ever match on Australian soil.

And the game-day squad for the Baa Baas could boast as many as 900 Test caps, with nine players having reached the personal milestone of 50 Test caps.

"It's an incredibly strong line-up we'll be facing," said Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

"We faced a very good Barbarians side at Wembley last November, which had four of the past five International Rugby Board Players of the Year.

"However, this team looks even better."

Former NRL star Sonny Bill Williams fills the traditional spot left open by the Barbarians for an uncapped player.

Around him, though, will be a plethora of veterans.

Former England captain and backrower Martin Corry has played 64 Tests, former All Blacks captain Justin Marshall 81, Irish fullback Geordan Murphy has 64 caps, while All Blacks winger Doug Howlett (62 Tests) and England utility back Josh Lewsey (58 Tests) also offer extensive international backgrounds.

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