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Thursday 8 December 2016

'Shocked' Shane Jennings to lead Barbarians against Ireland

Shane Jennings goes through his paces in training as his Leinster career nears a conclusion.
Shane Jennings goes through his paces in training as his Leinster career nears a conclusion.

LEINSTER's Shane Jennings will captain the Barbarians against Ireland in what is likely to be his final game of rugby.

The openside flanker will be joined on the invitational side by clubmates Zane Kirchner and Jimmy Gopperth who will partner Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar at half-back.

Coach Robbie Deans has named 11 internationals in his starting XV which takes on Joe Schmidt's side at Thomond Park on Thursday night.

Wales and Lions pair Alex Cuthbert and Adam Jones are joined by former All Black Joe Rokocoko who is in the centre.

"It'sa  huge honour, I was quite shocked when Robbie said it. It was just an honour to be selected, we're all excited to keep with the tradition, enjoy it and understand the responsibility we have.

"It means so much to the lads, guys who are seasoned pros and internationals, they understand the responsibility. I've always wanted to play on a Barbarians team.

Deans said that he wants his team to understand their full responsibilities and not just throw the ball around.

"We'd like to attack, but that's the last thing Ireland will want. They'll have a lot at stake as individuals who are aspiring to the World Cup," he said.

"Our guys have come together really well, they're enjoying each other's company and we want to give it a fair crack. We want to be good at the elements of the game that are routinely at the core of being a good rugby team, like taking ownership of defence.

"We want those traits to come through."

Tickets for the Ireland v Barbarians match are on sale for €30 and family (1 adult & 1 junior) terrace packs from €25 on ticketmaster.ie.

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