Barbarians bring in big hitters to Parc y Scarlets
18 December 2008 11:06am
The Barbarians will be bringing a star-studded line-up of top internationals from across the globe to grace the field for the opening of Parc y Scarlets.
The Scarlets and the world-famous touring club the Barbarians will play a special match to mark the official opening of the Scarlets new stadium in Llanelli on 31 January (kick-off 2.30pm).
The match will mark a unique treble of historic fixtures between the two sides - the first for the opening of new accommodation at Stradey Park in 1965 and the second the club's centenary celebrations in 1972.
Mike Burton, on behalf of the Barbarians said: "There will be a star-studded line-up from the Barbarians for the official opening of Parc y Scarlets with a high profile team of international players from New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Tonga, Samoa, England and France.
"Ironically, two players that will be appearing for the Barbarians against the Scarlets played as opposition in last week's Varsity match at Twickenham - Anton Oliver, former All Black captain and Dan Vickerman, the Australian second row who made 52 appearances for the Wallabies between 2002-2007.
"The Barbarians are looking forward to a great occasion to mark the opening of this fantastic new stadium and I am sure it will be a memorable day for all involved."
The 22-man Barbarians squad will be coached by Welshman, Kingsley Jones. The full Barbarians squad will be named later in January.
There is a close history between Llanelli rugby and the Barbarians with two Scarlets players R H Williams and Phil Bennett still holding the record for the most Baa-Baas' appearances by Welshmen. Llanelli Association President, Derek Quinnell is a former Barbarians captain and now serves on the committee of the touring club. Stuart Gallacher, Chief Executive of the Scarlets was the first Llanelli players to be invited to play against a major touring side, the Springboks in 1970.
Stuart Gallacher said: "We are relishing the prospect of this game - there is a real magic about Barbarians fixtures and we have a great history and links with the club over many years.
"This will be a fitting occasion to officially open our new stadium and will bring something special to our supporters and members this season. We look forward with excitement to the announcement of the full Barbarians squad in due course and know we will have a real feast of rugby and a great afternoon of entertainment."
The match will be part of a showcase event to officially open the 15,000 capacity new home of the Scarlets in front of a gathering of household names from the world of rugby and entertainment as well as high-profile members of the game's governing body, the WRU. There will be a pre-match opening event which will include a parade involving all 73 of the region's affiliated clubs.
The new stadium is a joint venture between the Scarlets and Carmarthenshire County Council.
Tickets for the Barbarians match go on sale this Thursday (18/12) with a full house expected to officially launch the new stadium in Llanelli. For more information please contact the ticket hotline on visit www.scarlets.co.uk.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.