England international to captain Barbarians against Tonga - Ruck

England international to captain Barbarians against Tonga

England’s Geoff Parling will lead the Barbarians in the final match of their autumn tour, against Tonga at Thomond Park on Friday night.

The Barbarians scored four tries apiece in their defeats against Australia (31-28) and New Zealand (31-22) but are looking for their first win of the year against international opposition – something Parling is eager to secure on his debut.

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“It’s a brilliant honour to captain this club and I’m looking forward to wearing that shirt,” said Parling.

“Some of the boys have been on tour for three weeks now and we want to finish on a high note after some good performances.

“We want to show how much enjoyment we’ve had together and do that by expressing ourselves on the pitch.”

Four Irish players make their debuts in the shape of Munster props James Cronin and Brian Scott, Connacht lock Quinn Roux and Leinster flanker Jordi Murphy.


Two more – Donncha O’Callaghan and John Muldoon – are among a powerful set of replacements featuring five internationals, although All Blacks wing Julian Savea misses out with a sore knee.

O’Callaghan (Worcester Warriors) is making what may be his final professional appearance at Thomond Park.

The veteran lock won every available honour in his years with Munster and makes his second appearance for the Baa-baas.

The Barbarians also welcome back one of their most potent attacking forces in Taqele Naiyaravoro.

The giant Australia wing was man of the match in last season’s 31-31 draw against South Africa, scored twice against Australia last month and makes his first European appearance for the club since starring in last year’s 40-7 win over Fiji in Belfast.

Barbarians: 15 George Bridge, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Richard Buckman, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Vince Aso, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Jordi Murphy, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Geoff Parling (c), 3 Brian Scott, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Donncha O’Callaghan, 20 John Muldoon, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 David Smith, 23 Sam Carter