Date: 13th June 2012
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Venue: GWK Stadium, Kimberley
SA South Barbarians:
15 Jacquin Jansen, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Kempie Rautenbach, 12 Wayne Stevens (captain), 11 Norman Nelson, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Boela Abrahams, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Shaun Raubenheimer, 6 Mpho Mbiyozo, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Nolan Clark, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Clemen Lewis, 17 Dean Hopp, 18 Samora Fihlani, 19 Zandré Jordaan, 20 Ntando Kebe, 21 Ricardo Croy, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.
15 Alex Goode, 14 George Lowe, 13 Anthony Allen, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Danny Care; 1 Matt Mullan, 2 Joe Gray, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 4 Graham Kitchener, 5 George Robson (c), 6 James Haskell, 7 Carl Fearns, 8 Thomas Waldrom
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Rupert Harden, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Jamie Gibson, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Phil Dowson, 22 Nick Abendanon
SA South Barbarians:
Coming together for the first time, the SA South Barbarians are largely made up of second tier Currie Cup players from around the country rather than Super Rugby talent not involved with the Springboks. Coached by Jimmy Stonehouse, there is a splattering of talent amongst the squad, none more so than flanker Mpho Mbiyozo of the Eastern Province Kings.
With many players eager to force their way into Stuart Lancaster’s thoughts, Wednesday in Kimberley represents a huge opportunity. Led by George Robson, there is a strong Harlequins contingent with Joe Gray, Danny Care and Jordan Turner-Hall all starting and more importantly all in form. Attention will be on Anthony Allen and James Haskell as they return to the England squad, along with Care, but also on Thomas Waldrom who is strongly competing with Ben Morgan for a test spot.
What to Expect:
It wouldn’t be South Africa without coming across a brutal set of forwards who aren’t afraid of getting physical. England will have to be smarter than their opponents in the lineout, an area where captain Robson has excelled this season with Harlequins. At the breakdown, Haskell’s brawn and Fearns physicality will prove essential against Mbiyozo, Jacques Engelbrecht and Shaun Raubenheimer.
The Barbarians back row will no doubt target Charlie Hodgson’s channel to test out his fabled poor defence, but they also have a strong threat in captain Wayne Stevens at inside centre. England will be desperate to give Christian Wade some space out on the wing, but he will be opposite the Barbarians strongest threat in 7s star Cornal Hendricks.
Head to Head: Cornal Hendricks & Christian Wade
Two wingers with outstanding amounts of pace, Hendricks and Wade have both spent time on the Sevens circuit with South Africa and England. Both will hope that tomorrow’s match opens up sufficiently enough to be given opportunities to impress, but that will depend on the work of their forwards. At 23 and 21, both have bright futures ahead of them.
Ones to Watch: Mpho Mbiyozo & Danny Care
Perhaps his team’s greatest talent, Mbiyozo is now 29 but bizarrely has never played Super Rugby despite being a promising talent. Having played in the Vodacom Cup with Western Province, Boland and now the EP Kings, Mbiyozo also made history when he scored the first ever try for newly formed Southern Kings against the British & Irish Lions in 2009.
Care meanwhile was a surprising omission from the Test 22 last weekend despite his good form for Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership Final, so now has a chance to impress in what will be his first game for England since the World Cup warm-up matches last August.
Gelling together new combinations quickly will have proved taxing for England during the week, but they have substantial quality throughout their squad – certainly more than enough to see off the threat of the Southern Barbarians. England by 13
by Ben Coles