Barbarians offer stern examination for Lydon's callow squad

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The Independent Online

The crème de la crème of England may be in New Zealand but more than 30,000 are expected at Twickenham today to watch an England XV take on a Barbarian team that features a number of former All Blacks and Springboks.

The crème de la crème of England may be in New Zealand but more than 30,000 are expected at Twickenham today to watch an England XV take on a Barbarian team that features a number of former All Blacks and Springboks.

"As far as we are concerned this is a Test match against quality opposition," said Joe Lydon, England's coach for the match. "Yes, the Barbarians want to entertain but they also want to play winning rugby and so do we.The only things we can gain from watching them lose to Scotland [this week] was firstly their pride is dented, and secondly, the amount of changes their coach, Bob Dwyer, has made shows how committed they are to performing well at Twickenham."

"I'm looking forward to the game," said the centre Jamie Noon, "but it is going to be difficult; they have some awesome players. I played against them last year and it was very hard."

England XV: T Voyce; P Sackey, A Erinle (all Wasps), J Noon (Newcastle), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester); A Goode (Leicester), A Gomarsall (Gloucester); M Worsley (Harlequins), G Chuter (Leicester), M Ward (Newcastle), L Deacon (Leicester), T Palmer (Leeds), C Jones (Sale), P Sanderson (Worcester, capt), H Vyvyan (Saracens). Replacements: L Mears (Bath), S Hooper (Leeds), J Forrester (Gloucester), P Richards (Wasps), S Vesty (Leicester), M Tait (Newcastle).

Barbarians: B Russell (South Africa); W Sailor (Australia), T Castaignède (France), T Halstead (South Africa), B Reihana; C Spencer, M Robinson (all New Zealand); T Smith (Scotland), M Regan (England), J Visagie (South Africa), S Shaw (England), S Boome, C Krige (both South Africa), J O'Connor (Ireland), S Chabal (France). Replacements: R Ibañez (France), A Lo Cicero (Italy), AJ Venter (South Africa), S Sititi (Samoa), B Redpath (Scotland), D Humphreys, G Dempsey (both Ireland).

Referee: S Dickinson (Australia).

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