"First Player Confirmed" - Barbarians Name Wallabies Playmaker for Harlequins Clash - Ruck

“First Player Confirmed” – Barbarians Name Wallabies Playmaker for Harlequins Clash

The first name on the Barbarians team sheet has been confirmed, for the upcoming exhibition match against Premiership entertainers Harlequins. Head Coach Jason Gilmore has named former Australian international James O’Connor in the Baa-Baas squad, for the clash on Saturday 7th October.

The world famous invitational side are set for their re-match against the Quins, following on from the dramatic 101-point thriller which took place at the Stoop last year. The 73-28 Harlequins win was jam packed with the end-to-end try scoring action commonly associated with both the black and white stripes, and the famous quarters.

The match had it all for fans of attacking rugby, including a stunning drop goal from none other than Harlequins and England prop Joe Marler. The stage is set for the re-match, with O’Connor delighted to be named as the first man on Gilmore’s squad list. Speaking to Harlequins, the Queensland Reds man said:

Commenting on the announcement, O’Connor said: “I’m extremely excited to be playing a great Harlequins side at The Stoop later this year. I loved my time playing in the Premiership and had some great battles with Quins. I’m looking forward to returning to London and pulling on the Barbarians shirt.”

Head Coach Jason Gilmore added: “We’re excited to have James in our Baa-Baas squad to face Harlequins. He’s a dangerous player who loves the big match moments and plays a fast, attacking brand of rugby. His game style sits perfectly with how we like to play and we’re looking forward to watching him go head-to-head with Quins in front of a packed crowd at The Stoop.”

A versatile man in any back-line, O’Connor has utilised his adaptability for a career at fly half, centre, and in the back three. O’Connor has made 64 test match caps for the Wallabies, since making his debut against Italy back in 2008. The Queensland Red has competed on the biggest stages for Australia, as he led the line for his country at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and also the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour.

The 33-year-old has also achieved more than 100 Super Rugby appearances, representing the Western Force, Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds. He has also established an accomplished CV across the Premiership and Top 14, with stints at London Irish, Sale Sharks and Toulon.