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Barbarians announce Argentina date

The Barbarians will continue the fight for relevance in the professional era by rounding off their 125th anniversary in hosting Argentina at Twickenham in November 2015.

The famous invitational side's bosses have made a concerted effort to beef up both the schedule and the personnel following a lacklustre 2013.

The BaaBaas were consummately outclassed in defeats to England and the British and Irish Lions in a low-key summer last year which threatened to undermine the club's celebrated past.

Scotland lock Alastair Kellock led a rousing Test battle against Australia at Twickenham last month, the Barbarians edged out 40-36 at the last.

That vastly-improved showing paved the way for the Barbarians to confirm what will effectively prove an auxiliary World Cup warm-up clash with Ireland at Limerick's Thomond Park on May 28.

The BaaBaas will then take on England at Twickenham three days later before rounding off the year against the Pumas in London.

"Argentina have got a proud record to maintain and I am sure they will make a significant contribution at next year's World Cup," said Barbarians president Micky Steele-Bodger.

"We have strong links with rugby in Argentina, many of their players have represented the club with distinction and playing the Pumas at Twickenham will be a splendid occasion.

"Our Killik Cup game at Twickenham will certainly be an entertaining encounter with world-class players on show in the best traditions of Barbarians rugby."

The Barbarians were overwhelmed 40-12 by England and then 59-8 by the Lions across May and June 2013.

The disappointing results and performances prompted a board-level rethink as the proud club fought to balance amateur-era ethos amid the professional maelstrom.

A youthful England side saw off the Barbarians 49-39 in an engaging Twickenham affair in June 2014, but it was captain Kellock and company that fully restored pride against Australia last month in an exciting clash that saw head coach John Kirwan select a clutch of established and rising stars with points to prove.

That formula will doubtless be repeated across the second half of this season and into next.

Argentina, meanwhile, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first overseas tour in 2015.

"We are going into a new, exciting phase of our history and to finish such a year, at Twickenham with a game against the iconic Barbarians will be a huge honour and a prestigious occasion for Argentinian rugby," said the Argentina Rugby Union president Carlos Araujo.

"This will only be the second time our national team has played against the BaaBaas, giving us a great opportunity to showcase our spirit in what promises to be a great game of rugby."


From Belfast Telegraph