Wed, Nov 28, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Jason Robinson set to play last match of career


Jason Robinson will end his senior club rugby career by being a member of the Barbarians squad named in London on Monday to play world champions South Africa in Saturday's non-cap international at Twickenham.

Fullback/wing Robinson was a key member of the England side that won the World Cup in 2003, but was on the losing side last month when the Springboks lifted the trophy after a 15-6 final win in Paris where he sustained a shoulder injury.

The 33-year-old former Great Britain rugby league international had already retired from club rugby union.

Robinson could find himself in the same back three as wing Joe Rokocoko, one of six All Blacks in a 22-man squad chosen by Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

Ben Cohen, who was alongside Robinson when England won the World Cup four years ago, will be keener than most for a game after the collapse of his proposed move from Northampton to Leicester because of salary-cap restrictions effectively left him without a club.

Mark Regan, England's World Cup-winning hooker, will captain the team. Being in charge of such a star-studded side will be a valuable experience for O'Sullivan as he bids to become the coach of the British and Irish Lions side that will tour South Africa in 2009.

South Africa saw their reign as world champions begin with a commanding


win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday. Although not a full Test, selection for the Barbarians against an international side remains a major honor.

Traditionally, rugby union's most famous invitational side, where the players wear their club or international socks, always includes at least one uncapped player in its team.

And that could mean an appearance this weekend against their own country for the Stormers' Schalk Brits in what will be Jake White's last match as South Africa coach before he steps down next month when the squad returns home.

Brits' teammate Peter Grant, capped this year, is also in the squad.

South Africa, in a series of matches dating back to 1952, lead the Barbarians


Barbarians squad:

Backs: Jason Robinson (ENG/Lions), Joe Rokocoko (NZL), Isoa Neivua (FIJ), Ben Cohen (ENG/Lions), Conrad Smith (NZL), Tom Shanklin (WAL/Lions), Ma'a Nonu (NZL), Matt Giteau (AUS), Peter Grant (RSA), Justin Marshall (NZL).

Forwards: Rocky Elsom (AUS), Martyn Williams (WAL/Lions), Jerry Collins (NZL), Troy Flavell (NZL), Luke Charteris (WAL), Justin Harrison (AUS), Brent Cockbain (WAL), Schalk Brits (Stormers), Mark Regan (ENG/Lions, capt), Salesi Ma'afu (Brumbies), Federico Pucciarello (ITA), Andrew Sheridan (ENG/Lions).

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