Baa-Baas recruit top stars
Stirling Mortlock and Bryan Habana have accepted their invitations to play for the Barbarians.
Last Updated: 02/09/09 10:41am
Tri-Nations stars Stirling Mortlock and Bryan Habana have accepted their invitations to play for the Barbarians against New Zealand.
The Australia captain and South Africa winger are among a group of five players to confirm their availability for the end-of-year showpiece at Twickenham.
Fellow Tri-Nations stars Victor Matfield and Matt Giteau are the other stars set to feature along with Argentina's Juan Martin Hernandez.
Italy boss Nick Mallett will lead the team, assisted by Alan Solomons, with whom he combined so impressively between 1998 and 1999 to guide the Springboks to a then record 17 straight Test wins, and the hopes are high for the December 5 clash.
Barbarian president Micky Steele-Bodger said: "Matches between the club and the All Blacks have always had a special resonance.
"The classic game in 1973 remains an obvious memory for everyone but over the years the Barbarian club has continued to have positive links with the New Zealand rugby fraternity in general.
"Though they will be on the opposing side next December, the likes of Richie McCaw, Joe Rokocoko, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Luke McAlister have all accepted invitations to play for the Barbarians in the last couple of years.
"Of course the quality of the All Blacks speaks for itself but we are confident that we will complete the recruitment of an outstanding squad ourselves for what promises to be yet another mouth-watering match."
The annual season-end fixture for autumn's international rugby programme in the north will be the fifth time the teams have met at Twickenham and the first since 2004.