Cheika names Barbarians team to face Gloucester

by staff

The stakes won’t be as high for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika when he hits Twickenham this weekend as they were just shy of a month ago.

Cheika has named his side for the first of two Barbarians matches this week, a Tuesday night clash with Gloucester (Wednesday morning Australian time) at Kingsholm.

Captained by Springbok veteran Victor Matfield, the team consists of seven capped Wallabies, with Joe Tomane, Toby Smith, James Hanson and Stephen Hoiles all in the starting XV for the opening game.

While the stakes mightn't be quite so high this week, Waratahs flanker Hoiles said Cheika would adjust to the more relaxed vibe easily.

“He’s played a high level, understands that different teams have different goals and that’s one of his strengths, is to be able to pick the mood of the group and still get the most out of them, “ he said.

“I’m sure he’ll be entertaining and unique and have his own little ideas to make the week exciting.”

Hoiles said the opportunity to play for the Barbarians, one that injury has ruled him out of in the past, was an exciting one.

“They just (play) such a unique brand of footy.

“They play a good style of rugby and it’s also a pretty social week from what I hear.

“I’m looking forward to meeting guys and to get to spend time with guys you’ve played against for so long.

“(Guys) like Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield and some of the newer guys on the scene like Milner skudder and (Waisake) Naholo - the superstars from the All Blacks, and (also to) team up with some of the Wallaby boys that had such a fantastic eight week campaign for us."

Hoiles said it didn't take much to realise that the matches, especially the Los Pumas clash, would be pretty challenging.

“You only have to look at the World cup semi final and see how exhausted the Wallabies boys were when the whistle went,” he said.

“They just played width to width. They’ve got that old French style of rugby.

“They’ve got a really talented back row.

“They’ll run you ragged so it’ll be challenging on the lungs so we’ll see how it goes.”

The Barbarians play Gloucester on Wednesday morning Australian time and Argentina on Sunday morning.

Barbarians team to play Gloucester

15 Nehe Milner Skudder (Hurricanes & New Zealand)

14 Joe Tomane (Brumbies & Australia)

13 Francois Venter (Cheetahs)

12 Ryan Crotty (Crusaders & New Zealand, vice captain)

11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders & Fiji)

10 Pat Lambie (Sharks & South Africa)

9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks & South Africa)

1 Jamie Mackintosh (Chiefs & New Zealand)

2 James Hanson (Rebels & Australia)

3 Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia)

4 Victor Matfield (Northampton Saints & South Africa, captain)

5 Lood de Jager (Cheetahs & South Africa)

6 Stephen Hoiles (Waratahs & Australia)

7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)

8 Jarrad Butler (Brumbies)

Replacements (from):

Stephen Moore (Brumbies & Australia)

Thomas du Toit (Sharks)

Charlie Faumuina (Blues & New Zealand)

Bakkies Botha (South Africa)

Scott Fardy (Brumbies & Australia)

Tawera Kerr Barlow (Chiefs & New Zealand)

Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders & New Zealand)

Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies & Australia)

Waisake Naholo (Highlanders & New Zealand)