Aussie Schools Barbarians to take on Samoa in Sydney

Schoolboys
by Emma Greenwood

While Australia's Schools and U18 side is shaping up for a battle against the Kiwi Schoolboys this week while on tour in New Zealand, the Australian Babarians side will take on Samoan Schools at Knox Grammar on Wednesday in the only international schoolboy fixture on the domestic calendar this year.

Previously known as ‘Australia A’ the Barbarians side is made of the best players from the Australian Schools Rugby Union national championships that were held in July, with the exception of those that were chosen for the Australian Schools and U18 side currently touring New Zealand.

A change to the national high-performance set-up, with Rugby Australia now running the country's premier U18 team with a focus on development and retention of players, rather than performance at a five-day carnival focused solely on selection, led to many of the country's top schoolboy players, especially in Queensland, not taking part in the Australian Schools Rugby championships in Sydney in July.

Aus Baabaas.

But the dual system has given more students the chance to represent Australia, with the Baa Baas out to topple the so-far unbeaten Samoan outfit to retain their own untainted record in four clashes against Samoa since 2001.

Having played matches against the Shoalhaven Barbarians, ACT Schools and Central West Schools in the lead-up to Wednesday's match, Samoa has had a strong preparation, with the Barbarians having had just six days in camp to prepare.

Australian coach Dan Hawke said playing "textbook footy" would be the Baa Baas' best avenue to a win.

“The Samoans will break out of their style, like Fijian style, almost like Sevens and the way we’re going to beat that team is by playing textbook footy," Hawke said.

Four changes have been made to the Barbarians' line-up due to injury and unavailability.

And while just two of the 23 squad members have played an international fixture before, there is no lack of talent, with the Australian side including fullback Jack Mossman, who narrowly missed Australian Schools and U18 selection, while Queensland's Keenan Timu is the brother of former Wallabies forward Caleb Timu.

That's not the only family connection with Remsy Lemisio, from St Edmunds College in Canberra, opposing his uncle, Samoa's Andrew Simeti, at hooker.

The Australian Schools Barbarians take on Samo at Knox Grammar on Wednesday, October 2, kicking off at 5:30pm, with the match LIVE on the Australian Schools Rugby Facebook page.

BARBARIANS SQUAD

ZAC BARNABAS, St Augustines College, ADRIAN BROWN  Barker College, CULLIN COOPER-JONES, All Saints Anglican College, JUDE GIBBS, St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, LANGI GLEESON, St Augustines College, TOM GRATWICKE, Knox Grammar School, MACONAL GREALY, Downlands College, RYAN GROCOTT, Gungahlin College, ANGUS HOUSTON, St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, LYTANA KING-TOGIA, Our Lady Of The Southern Cross, REMSY LEMISIO, St Edmunds College, Canberra, THOMAS MAKA, Newington College, JASPER MELLISH, Siena Catholic College, JACK MOSSMAN, The Scots College, JAMES NICHOLLS, Kings Christian College, DAN O'BRIEN, St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, TAINE ROIRI, John Paul College, DYLAN SAUNDERS, Windsor High School, ANGUS SAWTELL, St Laurence's College, KEENAN TIMU, Marsden State High School, JUNIOR TUPOU, St Edmunds College, Canberra, ANGUS WEBSDALE, St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, LOUIS WERCHON, Sunshine Coast Grammar School.