All Blacks to face Barbarians at Twickenham

New Zealand Rugby has formally confirmed they will celebrate their 125th anniversary by renewing a historic rivalry with the Barbarians on November 4 at Twickenham.

It will be the first time the All Blacks return to the stadium since their 2015 World Cup victory and it is their 11th meeting with the famous invitation club.

The sides meet in the match for the Killik Cup in what NZR CEO Steve Tew described as “the most appropriate way to mark our milestone."

The Barbarians v New Zealand fixture revives memories of the club’s famous 23-11 win over the All Blacks in 1973 adorned by Gareth Edwards’s great try.

And the Barbarians won the last meeting at Twickenham in 2009, when wing Bryan Habana’s hat-trick secured a 25-18 victory.

Tew said: “We are delighted to announce the match against the Barbarians. Like the All Blacks, the Barbarians are part of rugby’s rich history and the match later this year is a fitting way to mark our 125th anniversary. 

"Playing the Barbarians is always a special occasion and we think our shared history makes this game the most appropriate way to mark our milestone.”

Barbarians President Micky Steele-Bodger said: “We’re delighted to be renewing one of rugby’s great rivalries at Twickenham on November 4 and we believe it will be another classic encounter between two famous teams.

“The Barbarians expect to bring together some of the world’s greatest players to take on the All Blacks and to play with the style and attacking flair that the club’s traditions demand.”

The BaaBaas were in vintage form in 2016, scoring 22 tries in three matches against international opponents, drawing 31-31 with South Africa before wins over the Czech Republic (71-0) and Fiji (40-7).

They take on England on May 28 and Ulster on June 1 before facing New Zealand, who will be making their first appearance in the UK following their three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions.

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