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International Rugby: Barbarians v Wales Preview

Juan Fernandez Lobbe of the Barbarians kicks a conversion for his team

The Barbarians will be looking to make it two wins from three fixtures when they take on Wales on Saturday the 30th of November.

Rugby fans will get their last taste of international XV’s action for the year when the Barbarians square up against Wales at the Principality this Sunday. This game should be a rather entertaining affair with both teams possessing some very skilful backs.

Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports

Barbarians v Wales
Saturday 30 November
Principality Stadium

The Barbarians have endured topsy-turvy November tour as they lost 31-33 to a Fijian side that was missing a number of household names. They responded in style, however, as they beat minnows  Brazil 47-22 last weekend.

As is always the case with the Barbarians, there are a number of sub-plots here with the biggest one seeing former long-term Wales coach Warren Gatland square up against his old employers. He’s unlikely to employ the same conservative ‘Warren-Ball’ tactics that he did during his time at the Welsh national helm, however.

Instead, expect to see the likes of Curwin Bosch, Cornal Hendricks, Diullyn Leyds and Makazole Mapimpi give the ball plenty of air during the encounter. Keep an eye on Bosch at pivot… the young fly-half is set to enjoy a full campaign at 10 for the Sharks this season. Going up against a strong Welsh side will be a stern test of his credentials.

Wales will begin life after Gatland this Saturday and there will be a whole load of fresh new faces to welcome the new dawn as coach Wayne Pivac has added a host of inexperienced players to his squad including uncapped loosies Taine Basham and Shane Lewis-Hughes.

There are a number of experienced players in this squad, however, including former Waikato Chiefs player, Johnny McNicol, who is set to earn his Wales debut having just completed his three-year residency protocol. He was set to be joined by fellow New Zealander Willis Halaholo, who had also just completed his residency stint until the latter sustained an injury while playing for the Cardiff Blues.

Verdict: Wales 
They may have a youthful look about them but this Welsh side looks the business. I can see them winning this one by more than eight points. 

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