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First names revealed for Barbarians squad

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Matt Stevens and Springboks pair CJ Van der Linde and Heinrich Brussow are among seven South Africa-based forwards today called up by the Barbarians for their autumn fixtures.

Head coach Sir John Kirwan is in charge of the squad for the Killik Cup match against Australia at Twickenham and an historic fixture against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Tuesday, November 4.
Former England international prop Stevens, who joined the Sharks from Saracens this summer, is among the first names announced in the squad.
He will be joined by 2007 World Cup winner Van der Linde (Eastern Province Kings) and Cheetahs duo Brussow and Coenie Oosthuizen.
The three uncapped players named are teenage prop Thomas du Toit (Sharks), flanker Michael Rhodes (Stormers) and veteran back row Jacques Botes, who makes his 270th and final Sharks appearance in Durban this weekend.
Stevens was capped 44 times by England – including appearances at two World Cups – before retiring from international rugby in 2012.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to play for the Barbarians. It’s one of the brilliant traditions of the game. It’s all about how you play and that’s very good for the game.
"At 19 Thomas du Toit is a formidable talent, a hugely committed prop, a real athlete and a good powerful scrummager. Jacques Botes is just an inspiration and such a humble guy. CJ Van der Linde is obviously hugely experienced. He’s a big man but he’s quick and he’s been showing off some silky skills in the Currie Cup.”
Tighthead prop Van der Linde has 75 Test caps, while loosehead Oosthuizen made his 17th Test appearance in the 55-6 win over Scotland in June. Flanker Brussow has appeared 20 times for South Africa, including all three Tests against the British & Irish Lions in 2009.
Wallabies wing Nick Cummins is already a confirmed member of the Barbarians squad. Further player announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
The Barbarians return to Welford Road on November 4 as part of the invitational team’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
After spells in charge of the national teams of Japan and Italy, Sir John Kirwan is now head coach at Auckland Blues and will lead the Baa-baas team for their matches against Australia and the Tigers.
“It’s a privilege and a huge honour to be involved with the Barbarians again,” said Kirwan, a World Cup winner in 1987. “If you’ve played for club and country but haven’t played for the Barbarians you’re still missing something, and when people find out you’re the Barbarians coach they’re on the phone asking to play.”
Tickets for Tigers versus the Barbarians are available now at the Tigers ticket office, prices from £23 adults, £11 juniors. Buy in person at the Welford Road ticket office, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or click here to book online.