Best to captain Barbarians against Wales on Gatland’s return to Cardiff
Two-time British & Irish Lions tourist Rory Best is set to skipper the Barbarians side that face Wales on Saturday in Cardiff.
Best, who retired from professional rugby at the end of this year’s World Cup after making 124 appearances for his country, will lead a Warren Gatland-coached team that features a wealth of international talent.
Best enjoyed a glittering career for Ireland, while he was also selected for The British & Irish Lions to tour Australia in 2013 and New Zealand in 2017.
He captained Ireland to Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam victory in 2018, while he also won the Championship in 2009, 2014 and 2015.
The uncapped fixture also marks former Wales head coach Warren Gatland’s return to Principality Stadium, giving him the chance to say an emotional farewell to Welsh supporters as Wayne Pivac leads the side into a new era.
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Gatland, who will coach the Lions in 2021, said: “I’m just looking forward to Saturday – it’s a great opportunity for me to say thank you to the fans and the Welsh public for 12 brilliant years.
“It’s been a great experience, getting to know players I’ve not worked with before – the guys have bonded and had a bit of fun, as well as getting serious as well.
“I don’t think I can lose, really, either way – we’re here to play some rugby and give a good performance.
“I think when those competitive juices start to flow, it’s about going out and delivering a performance and hopefully the Barbarians winning.”
Barbarians: Shaun Stevenson, Dillyn Leyds, Mathieu Bastareaud, Andre Esterhuizen, Cornal Hendricks, Curwin Bosch, Bryn Hall, Campese Ma’afu, Rory Best (c), Wiehahn Herbst, Luke Jones, Tyler Ardron, Pete Samu, Marco van Staden Josh Strauss
Replacements: Schalk Brits, Craig Miller, Hencus van Wyk, George Biagi, Angus Cottrell, Jano Vermaak, Bill Meakes, Matt Duffie