Alexander a late call-up for Barbarians

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Veteran Brumbies prop Ben Alexander has been an 11th-hour call-up into the Barbarians team to face the Wallabies.

Alexander, the Brumbies' most -capped Super Rugby player, has been called onto the bench to replace Mike Alaalatoa, after the Crusaders prop was unable to be cleared by his club.

Alaalatoa himself only came into camp after an injury to Reds prop Sef Faagase, who hurt his ankle against the Classic Wallabies on Tuesday night.

Force halfback Michael Ruru was also forced to withdrawal, after pulling his hamstring in Lismore. 

In a surprise move, Tom Banks has been named at outside centre, going head-to-head with Reds and Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi.

Quade Cooper will captain the side, with Matt Hodgson vice-captain, among a number of Australia-based players in the team for Saturday.

Force lock Matt Philip won the second row battle over teammate Richie Arnold to be included in the 23, in what is set to be an exciting encounter.

Alan Jones says he's focused on mental prep this week. Photo: Getty ImagesBarbarians coach Alan Jones said the team's preparation wasn't ideal, playing in Lismore and then having their flight back to Sydney delayed, but he wouldn't be giving his side any reasons not to go at 100 per cent.

"My focus was up here, I just sat them down and told them... they're all highly intelligent people because they've got skill," he said.

"So to talk to them as to how I expect them to play and how that will translate to the various units of the game.

"The scrum, the lineout and the counterattack and continuity

"Once they understand that it's not all that difficult - we could have done with more time and there's no way I could run the legs off them because we would have had nothing left on Saturday

"You adjust, that's what a coach does and there are no excuses."

The Wallabies named their team earlier on Thursday.

Australia takes on the Barbarians in Sydney on Saturday October 28, kicking off at 3pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Network Ten.

TEAM

Barbarians to take on the Wallabies

1 Pekahou Cowan (Force & Australia)

2 Andrew Ready (Reds)

3 Taniela Tupou (Reds)

4 Luke Jones (Bordeaux Begles & Australia)

5 Sam Carter (Brumbies & Australia)

6 Isi Naisarani (Force)

7 Matt Hodgson (Force & Australia, vice-captain)

8 Wycliff Palu (Toyota Verblitz & Australia)

9 Augustine Pulu (Blues & New Zealand)

10 Quade Cooper (Reds & Australia, captain)

11 Eto Nabuli (Reds & Australia)going h

12 George Moala (Blues & New Zealand)

13 Tom Banks (Brumbies)

14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs & Australia)

15. Nanai-Williams (Chiefs & Samoa)

Reserves 

16 Anaru Rangi (Force)

17 Ben Alexander (Brumbies & Australia)

18 Salesi Manu (Bond)

19 Matt Philip (Force)

20 Kane Koteka (Force)

21 Theo Strang (Sydney University)

22 Sam Greene (Toyota Verblitz)

23 Andrew Kellaway (Waratahs)

24th man: Sam Ward (Warringah)