Barbarians to play in Taupō this week

Head coach Warren Gatland, right, pictured here with Clayton McMillan. Photo: Chiefs Rugby Club.

The New Zealand Barbarian Rugby Club has today announced the 2021 New Zealand Barbarians squad that will assemble in Taupō this week.

New Zealand Barbarian President Bernie Allen says after much uncertainty, the Club is delighted to have the opportunity to name a team after a two-year hiatus.

Allen also confirmed this year’s coaching and management team, with Chiefs and Former British and Irish Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland at the helm; assisted by former All Black Jarrad Hoeata (Assistant Coach, Bunnings NPC Championship winner Taranaki) and Roger Randle (Assistant Coach, Bunnings NPC Premiership winner Waikato).

“Auckland's border restrictions prevented the original management squad from travelling, however, we’re extremely excited with the coaching team assembled, and having Gats take the reins.

“After a two year break, it's also exciting to see players pull on the red jersey and have the opportunity to showcase their talent and prove their spot in the team.”

Gatland, a proud Barbarian, says he's excited about coaching the team against the New Zealand Heartland XV.

"I’ve been privileged to give opprtunities to a number of players in red (with Wales and the British and Irish Lions) and this match will be no different for the up and coming stars who will don the Baabaas red jersey.

“Barbarians’ rugby is all about providing opportunities, camaraderie, enjoyment and supporting grass roots rugby, and I’m excited to be a part of the team.”

Gatland says the team has pulled together a squad of future stars of the game, including under-20s star Bryn Gordon, and King Country local Cruise Dunster, who’ll have the opportunity to represent his union on home turf, and he was looking forward to assembling in Taupō later this week.

“The team assembles on Friday evening which only gives us one training session before we take the field. Roger and Jarrad both have extensive knowledge of the players chosen and will play a big role in preparing the team, so I’m confident we’ll be in good stead come Sunday."

The New Zealand Barbarians assemble in Taupō on Friday, December 3, ahead of their fixture against the New Zealand Heartland XV. The match will be played at 2pm, December 5, at Owen Delany Park, Taupō, and will be aired live on Sky Sport.

2021 New Zealand Barbarians squad: Solomone Tukuafu (Waikato) Joseph Gavigan (Manawatu) Mills Sanerevi (Taranaki) Bryn Gordon (New Zealand Barbarians U20 - Manawatu) Michael Bent (Taranaki) Flyn Yates (Manawatu) James Thompson (Waikato) Frank Lochore (Hawkes Bay) Cruise Dunster (King Country) Semisi Paea (Bay of Plenty) Sam Smith (Wellington) Veveni Lasaqa (Bay of Plenty) Keelan Whitman (Wellington) Leroy Carter (Bay of Plenty) Connor Collins (Wellington) Josh Jacomb (Taranaki) D'Angelo Leuila (Waikato) Quinnlan Tupou (Waikato) Louis Rogers (Waikato) Te Paea Cook-Savage (Waikato) Taniela Filimone (Manawatu) Vereniki Tikoisolomone (Taranaki) Drew Wild (Manawatu)

Management team: Head Coach Warren Gatland (Waikato Chiefs)

Assistant Coaches Jarrad Hoeata (Taranaki) Roger Randle (Waikato Chiefs)

Manager Wayne Brill (Bay of Plenty)

Assistant Managers Ben Sherriff (King Country)

Physiotherapist Jenny Voss (King Country)

Management unable to travel due to Covid-19 restrictions: Head Coach Paul Feeney

Assistant Coaches Brent Semmons Mark Hooper Jeff Ierome

Manager Peter White

Assistant Managers A J Whetton Bernie Allen

Physiotherapist Nathen Foulagi

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