Roberts savours 'surreal' experience

Jamie Roberts admits it will be a "surreal" experience playing alongside some of South Africa's biggest names just five months after terrorising them for the British and Irish Lions.

The Barbarians have selected Wales' powerful centre for today's showdown with New Zealand at Twickenham in a team that contains six Springboks.

Roberts emerged as the Lions' player of the series last summer after his bulldozing runs in the first two Tests consistently left a trail of green shirts in his wake. But, having traumatised the likes of Bryan Habana, Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield as an opponent, Roberts now finds himself fighting for the same cause.

"There has been a bit of banter flying around with the South African lads," Roberts said. "It's a completely surreal experience to meet these boys, but we're all in it for the same reasons."

Matfield will captain a side boasting 925 caps, including All Black right-wing Joe Rokocoko. Australia supply four players to the starting line-up, among them skipper and back-row forward Rocky Elsom and fly-half Matt Giteau.

"The Barbarians are steeped in history and tradition and it's a great invitational team. Long may it live," Roberts added. "It's probably getting tougher and tougher each year as the game gets more professional, but it's an absolute honour and privilege to be involved."

Richie McCaw, who played for the Barbarians last year, leads a weakened New Zealand team in the final fixture of the All Blacks' autumn tour.

Teams for today's game at Twickenham (2.15): New Zealand: C Jane; B Smith, T Ellison, L McAlister, Z Guildford; S Donald, B Leonard; W Crockett, C Flynn, J Afoa, J Eaton, A Boric, L Messam, R McCaw (capt), R So'oialo. Replacements: A Hore, N Tialata, A Thomson, T Latimer, J Cowan, M Delany, S Sivivatu.

Barbarians: D Mitchell (Australia); J Rokocoko (New Zealand), J Fourie (South Africa), J Roberts (Wales), B Habana (South Africa); M Giteau (Australia), F du Preez (South Africa); S Perugini (Italy), B du Plessis (South Africa), W P Nel (Free State Cheetahs), C del Fava (Italy), V Matfield (South Africa, capt), R Elsom (Australia), S Burger (South Africa), G Smith (Australia). Replacements: S Moore (Australia), T Mtawarira (South Africa), Q Geldenhuys (Italy), A Powell (Wales), W Genia (Australia), M Steyn (South Africa), L Halfpenny (Wales).

Referee: C Berdos (France).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...