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Barbarians to face New Zealand second-string at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The Barbarians will take on New Zealand’s second-string line-up in November (PA)
The Barbarians will take on New Zealand’s second-string line-up in November (PA)

The Barbarians will face New Zealand’s second-string All Blacks line-up in November as Tottenham Hotspur Stadium stages its first rugby international.

The BaaBaas beat England 52-21 at Twickenham on June 19 in a stunning display of the renowned invitational side’s enduring appeal.

And now the famed outfit will break new ground by taking on the All Blacks XV in north London on November 13.

November’s clash has been scheduled just months ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Barbarians’ most celebrated encounter, the 23-11 victory over the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in January 1973.

“We are absolutely thrilled to announce we will face the All Blacks XV this autumn in The Killik Cup,” said Barbarians president John Spencer.

“It is a fixture with a great sense of history – not just as the setting of that incredible (Gareth Edwards) try in 1973, but also on 10 other sparkling occasions producing champagne rugby between two teams of global stars.

“Playing at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will also give our spectators a truly exceptional experience. While this state-of-the-art stadium has hosted club rugby matches including the Premiership’s Saracens against Bristol Bears in the past, this is the first time it will play host to an international rugby fixture.

“The Barbarians are no strangers to playing historic matches at newly opened stadiums. In 2008 we faced Australia at the new Wembley Stadium and in the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2015 we played Samoa at the Olympic Stadium – now the London Stadium – in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“We will soon be announcing the next Barbarians’ head coach and all-star group of players who will put on a show of flair, passion, courage and spirit at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this November. We look forward to seeing you there.”

The All Blacks XV is New Zealand’s back-up side, and will take on Canada as well as two further opponents in a four-match autumn northern hemisphere tour.

“This will be a high-performance team which will be representing New Zealand overseas and is a hugely exciting opportunity for our players and coaches,” said New Zealand Rugby general performance manager Chris Lendrum.

“We believe the environment and schedule will help develop our next tier of talent.

“Importantly it will expose players to different playing styles, structures and systems, which can only benefit the development of our players and coaches.

“For our future professional players, it will provide an aspirational goal and for current players it is a chance to prove themselves on the international stage and push their case for All Blacks selection, or in some cases for a recall.”