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Luatua relishes Barbarians chance

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Sportal.co.nz     29 Nov 2013     Getty Images

Luatua, who made 11 appearances for the All Blacks during the season, said he had wanted to be part of the Barbarians club since seeing a match on television that some New Zealanders played in.

"I guess I was jealous in a sense and wondered how I could be a part of it. Now I'm finally here, it feels pretty special," he told RFU TV.

Fiji are celebrating their centenary and Luatua is under no illusions about the type of game they will play.

"Fiji have an open style of game and if that's what it comes down to – great. It's exactly how I like to play. You might see me on those tramlines as well sometimes," he said.

Captaining the Barbarians is Springboks skipper Jean de Villiers was looking forward to the honour.

"What makes the Barbarians so special is that you can only be asked to play for the team by invite and to be asked to captain is the cherry on top," he said.

"It's a great team and a great bunch of guys involved and I'm looking forward to playing.

"You get to know the guys [from other countries] on a different level and share rugby philosophies too. The more we can do that, the more we can better the product that is out there and make it more enjoyable for everyone involved," he said.

The Barbarians side, which will be coached by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, is: 1.Tendai Mtawarira, 2.Bismarck du Plessis, 3.Matias Diaz, 4.Manuel Carizza, 5.Dominic Bird, 6.Steven Luatua, 7.Schalk Burger, 8.Duane Vermeulen, 9.TJ Perenara, 10.Patrick Lambie, 11.Charles Piutau, 12.Jean de Villiers (captain), 13.Gavin Williams, 14.Frank Halai, 15.Santiago Cordera.

Replacements: 16.Keven Mealamu, 17.Guillermo Ruan, 18.Coenie Oosthuizen, 19.Mike O'Driscoll, 20.Luke Whitelock, 21.Martin Landajo, 22.Tom Taylor, 23.Willie le Roux.