Al Kellock: Captaining BaaBaas adds to the privilege

Glasgow Warriors captain reveals his delight at lining up for the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday

Glasgow Warriors club captain Al Kellock admits captaining the Barbarians adds to the privilege of playing for the famous club.

The 33-year-old lock, in his ninth season as captain for the Guinness PRO12 club, was overlooked for Scotland’s viagogo Autumn Tests next month, but received a call up from BaaBaas coach Sir John Kirwan.

And the 56-times capped international was then named captain on Wednesday for the clash with Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

“You grow up watching these matches and to be invited to be part of it is a big honour,” Kellock said.

“It’s something so many fantastic players have done before and when John Kirwan asked me to be the skipper that has just added to the privilege.

Kirwan, a former All Black winger, has named a strong squad made up mostly of players from New Zealand and South Africa, as well as former England tighthead prop Matt Stevens, a trio of Argentines, and former Australian international Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins, now playing club rugby in Japan, who lines up against his compatriots.

“I captained Glasgow for nine years and the circumstances here are entirely different,” Kellock added.

“But there’s lots of experience in the side in the likes of [former All Blacks flanker] Adam Thomson and Matt Stevens, and [All Blacks outside-half] Colin Slade as vice-captain has been excellent in training in adding so much detail.

“The Barbarians is about the old school values of rugby and everything that’s good about them as well as a high level of performance, and getting that level of performance right is important.”

Barbarians team to face Australia: Tim Nanai Williams (Chiefs); Frank Halai (Blues & New Zealand), Juan de Jongh (Stormers & South Africa), Francis Saili (Blues & New Zealand), Nick Cummins (Coca Cola West Red Sparks & Australia); Colin Slade (Crusaders & New Zealand), Tomas Cubelli (Belgrano Ath & Argentina); Matt Stevens (Sharks & England), James Parsons (Blues), Angus Ta’avao (Blues), Dominic Bird (Canterbury & New Zealand), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow & Scotland, captain), Adam Thomson (Canon Eagles & New Zealand), Matt Todd (Crusaders & New Zealand), Steven Luatua (Blues & New Zealand).

Replacements: Mahonri Schwalger (Chiefs & Samoa), Thomas Du Toit (Sharks), Lourens Adriaanse (Sharks), Heinrich Brussow (Cheetahs & South Africa), Matias Alemanno (La Tablada & Argentina), Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs), Joaquin Tuculet (Grenoble & Argentina), Marnitz Boshoff (Golden Lions & South Africa).

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