Phil Waugh to captain Barbarians against Qantas Wallabies
Australian Rugby Union Media Release:
Long-serving Australian Test flanker Phil Waugh has been honored with the Barbarians captaincy for Saturday night’s historic showdown with the Qantas Wallabies at Sydney Football Stadium.
Waugh will lead a vastly experienced side that includes fellow Wallaby backrower Rocky Elsom, former Australian halfback Chris Whitaker, a raft of All Black, English, French, South African, Irish and Samoan stars and the recent high-profile convert from rugby league Sonny Bill Williams.
The tour captain Martin Corry, a former England skipper, will enter the game from the bench.
Coach Dai Young, a former Welsh and British and Irish Lions prop, finalised his squad overnight.
The spinoff is a series of mouth watering head-to-head on field duels when the Barbarians play on Australian soil for the first time in their illustrious history to kick off the 2009 Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series at SFS on Saturday night.
Sonny Bill Williams, now contracted to the Toulon club in France, will mark Qantas Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock at outside centre.
Waugh will go up against his long time rival for the Australian Test No.7 jersey, George Smith.
Whitaker will lock horns at the scrum base with Luke Burgess, who is entering just his second season at international level.
On the wings, the Barbarians will field two players from England’s 2003 World Cup winning side – Josh Lewsey and Iain Balshaw – against Qantas Wallabies speedsters Lachie Turner and Drew Mitchell.
The five-eighth battle might also be a sneak preview of the one-on-one battle to take place in this year’s Bledisloe Cup series with New Zealander Luke McAlister wearing the No.10 Barbarians jersey against Matt Giteau.
McAlister, who has been playing club Rugby in the UK, will return to New Zealand after the match to resume his All Blacks career.
Another New Zealander heading home after a stint in Europe is Chris Jack, a 67-Test second rower who will spearhead the Barbarians lineout against the Qantas Wallabies pairing of Nathan Sharpe and James Horwill.
In another highly-anticipated battle up front, former All Blacks captain Jerry Collins and Australian Rocky Elsom will combine with Waugh in a world-class backrow to confront Australia’s trio of Smith, Richard Brown and new face Matt Hodgson.
Elsom will play No.8 for the Barbarians with Collins at blindside flanker.
THE BARBARIANS TEAM
15 Geordan Murphy (Ireland) – 64 Tests
14 Iain Balshaw (England) – 38 Tests
13 Sonny Bill Williams (uncapped) – 0 Tests
12 Seilala Mapusua (Samoa) – 9 Tests
11 Josh Lewsey (England) – 58 Tests
10 Luke McAlister (NZ) – 22 Tests
9 Chris Whitaker (Australia) – 31 Tests
8 Rocky Elsom (Australia) – 40 Tests
7 Phil Waugh © (Australia) – 77 Tests
6 Jerry Collins (NZ) – 48 Tests
5 Paul Tito (uncapped) – 0 Tests
4 Chris Jack (NZ) – 67 Tests
3 BJ Botha (South Africa) – 18 Tests
2 Sebastien Bruno (France) – 20 Tests
1 Clarke Dermody (NZ) – 3 Tests
16 Schalk Brits (South Africa) – 3 Tests
17 Greg Somerville (NZ) – 57 Tests
18 Martin Corry (England) – 70 Tests
19 Serge Betsen (France) – 63 Tests
20 Justin Marshall (NZ) – 81 Tests
21 Glen Jackson (uncapped) – 0 Tests
22 Ben Blair (NZ) – 6 Tests
Total Caps: 775