Chris Whitaker called up by Barbarians - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chris Whitaker called up by Barbarians

25/05/2009 07:33:18 PM Comments (0)

Former Test halfback Chris Whitaker is heading home in triumph to play for the Barbarians against the Wallabies at Sydney Football Stadium on June 6.

Whitaker was added to the Barbarians squad on Monday after helping guide Leinster to victory over Leicester in the European Cup final in Edinburgh at the weekend.

The Barbarians match will be an emotional homecoming for Whitaker, with the game to be his first on Australian soil since leaving for Ireland at the end of the 2006 Super 14 season.

A crowd favourite at SFS, Whitaker is the most-capped NSW captain in history, with 40 games in charge of the Waratahs, and the most-capped player for the province with 118 appearances.

He also held the record for the most number of Super Rugby games for the Waratahs until his milestone of 107 games was overtaken this year by current skipper Phil Waugh.

On the international stage, Whitaker earned 31 Test caps for the Wallabies, appeared in the 1999 and 2003 Rugby World Cup tournaments and led Australia in a World Cup pool match against Namibia in Adelaide six years ago.

He made his Wallabies debut against South Africa in 1998 and played his last Test in 2005 against Wales in Cardiff.

His last appearance for the Waratahs was in 2006 in a 16-14 Super 14 semi-final loss to the Hurricanes.

Whitaker has been called into the Barbarians squad following the withdrawal of French halfback Dmitri Yachvili.

Like Waugh, Whitaker will join the Barbarians for both of their scheduled matches against England at Twickenham this Saturday night and the Wallabies at SFS seven days later.

His selection gives the Barbarians a distinctive flavour of NSW favourite sons.

Whitaker and Waugh's teammate at Leinster, Rocky Elsom, will also play for the world-class invitational outfit against the Wallabies.

Elsom was hailed at the weekend by Leinster icon and Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll as remarkable and the best player he has ever played alongside during an illustrious career at the highest level.

O'Driscoll has played with the finest talent in the UK and Ireland over a long period of time and has twice toured with the British and Irish Lions to Australia in 2001 and New Zealand in 2005.

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