Rugby Union: Barbarian Kiwis vie for Test places

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The Independent Online
They may be the New Zealand Barbarians in name, but John Hart's squad, who are over here for a two-match tour, are All Blacks to the core.

While the All Blacks coach insists that winning is not everything, there is little doubt that the uncapped players in the party will want to prove a point or two to the New Zealand selectors.

There are a number of players who have yet to establish their Test credentials, among them Joeli Vidiri, a Fijian who will not be qualified to wear an All Blacks jersey until 1998. Vidiri plays on the wing and has been likened to Jonah Lomu. Lomu gets first bite along with Glen Osborne for the wing position when the tourists play the North of England at the McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield on Sunday.

The stand-off Andrew Mehrtens, the All Blacks' prodigious goal-kicker, joins Vidiri on the bench, with Auckland's Carlos Spencer taking over the No 10 shirt.

David Campese could yet add to his century of caps for Australia despite being left out of the team to face Ireland in Dublin tomorrow. The wing was yesterday named as one of the replacements for the Lansdowne Road encounter and could be called into action either as a tactical substitute or if Jason Little or Joe Roff get injured.

Llanelli have paid the Western Samoan tourists a compliment by fielding seven internationals in their side for tomorrow's match at Stradey Park.

The Scarlets are, however, without the No 8 Chris Wyatt, who is on Wales Sevens duty in Dubai, and they give a rest to their front row of Spencer John, Robin McBryde and Rhys Jones in addition to the flanker Mark Perego.

Llanelli have angered Ebbw Vale by postponing their 30 November league match as both Ieuan Evans and Wayne Proctor are included in the Welsh squad to meet Australia the following day.

LLANELLI (v Western Samoa, Stradey Park, tomorrow): W Proctor; I Evans (capt), T Davies, N Boobyer, G Evans; F Botica, R Moon; R Evans, J Hyatt, H Williams-Jones, V Cooper, S Ford, H Jenkins, P Morris, I Jones. (Replacements to be named).

NEW ZEALAND BARBARIANS (v North of England, Huddersfield, Sunday): C Cullen (Manawatu), G Osborne (North Harbour), A Ieremia (Wellington), L Stensness (Auckland), J Lomu (Counties); C Spencer (Auckland), J Marshall (Canterbury); M Allen (Taranaki), S Fitzpatrick (capt), O Brown (both Auckland), G Taylor (Northland), R Brooke, D Mika, A Blowers (all Auckland), T Randell (Otago). Replacements: J Vidiri (Counties), A Mehrtens (Canterbury), M Robinson (North Harbour), M Ranby, C Davis (both Manawatu), M Collins (Waikato), A Oliver (Otago), I Jones (North Harbour).

James Craig helped himself to 31 points, with five tries and three conversions, while Scott Nicol collected 25 points through a hat-trick of tries and five conversions as Scotland crushed Zambia 87-0 in their opening qualifying match of the World Cup Sevens in Dubai yesterday. Earlier, Wales humbled Singapore 77-0, with all seven players in the Welsh team scoring tries. Jonathan Davies, the former rugby league international, scored two tries and kicked six conversions. He scored two more tries and landed three conversions in Wales' second match, a 31-14 win over Zimbabwe.

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