Barbarians encounter resistance from clubs

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The Independent Online

A row has broken out among Premiership rugby clubs over the release of players for Saturday's showpiece match against the World Cup holders, South Africa.

Yesterday the Barbarians announced that the Bristol hooker Mark Regan would be the captain of a star-studded side containing the Sale prop Andrew Sheridan.

The Barbarians insisted that both players are contracted to play for the invitation side. Regan intends leading one of his daughters onto the Twickenham pitch as a birthday treat.

But Bristol's head coach, Richard Hill, whose team play Leeds in the EDF Energy Cup on Sunday, said: "As far as we are concerned Ronnie [Regan] is not involved in this [Barbarians] match at the weekend and he has had a letter from the club to that effect."

A Sale statement said: "The news that Andrew Sheridan has been named in the Barbarians squad to play against South Africa at the weekend is incorrect."