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Ellis to skipper BaaBaas against Boks

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/11/2016 Sean Martin

Former All Black Andy Ellis will seek a Springbok 'double' when he captains the Barbarians against South Africa at Wembley on Saturday, leading a team that includes four players who start against the country of their birth.

Halfback Ellis also played for the Barbarians in 2010 when they beat the Boks 26-20 and went on to win the World Cup with the All Blacks the following year.

Stormers first five-eighth Robert du Preez, Lions hooker Akker van der Merwe, Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes and Lions lock Martin Muller all start against their compatriots, while Lions flanker Ruan Ackermann and Montpellier prop Schalk van der Merwe will hope to face their homeland off the bench.

"It was a pretty special moment beating South Africa last time," Ellis, a Rugby World Cup-winner in 2011, said in a statement. "It's a beautiful thing. You make friendships. I'm still in touch with the guys I played with in 2010.

"This new team has come together, we're getting on well and we're having fun and now it's just about fronting up and making sure we perform at the weekend.

"The guys want to play for themselves, for the club, for their families - all sorts of different motivations but we're in a pretty good place.

"Boks taking on the Boks helps. They'll certainly want to prove themselves."

The Barbarians face South Africa for the eighth time since 1952. They lead the series 4-3 after wins in 2007 and 2010.

The Boks announce their team for the match on Thursday.

Team: Melani Nanai, Matt Faddes, Seta Tamanivalu, Richard Buckman, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Robert du Preez, Andy Ellis (captain), Luke Whitelock, Jordan Taufua, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Martin Muller, Paddy Ryan, Akker van der Merwe, Reggie Goodes. Replacements: Andrew Ready, Schalk van der Merwe, Toby Smith, Sam Carter, Ruan Ackermann, Nic Stirzaker, Richie Mo'unga, Luke Morahan.

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