It’s Wayne Pivac’s first game in charge as Wales return from Rugby World Cup heroics in Japan, which saw them reach the semi-finals for the second time during the 12 year tenure of outgoing head coach Warren Gatland.
Pivac is set to pit his wits against predecessor Gatland – who’s next job after RWC 2019 is to take charge of the BaaBaas before heading back to his native New Zealand – in front of a bumper crowd keen to be there on home soil for the former Scarlets boss’s debut at the helm of the Welsh national team.
The Barbarians have already announced newly-crowned World Champions Schalk Brits, Herschel Jantjies, Lukhanyo Am, Tendai Mtawarira and Makazole Mapimpi will swell their numbers from the South Africa RWC squad, and they join France centre Mathieu Bastereaud and Irish veteran hooker Rory Best with Gatland relishing the prospect of one more Principality Stadium send-off before returning to Waikato with The Chiefs.
“I’m really looking forward to that game (Wales v Barbarians) and being able to go out there a throw a couple of moves that they maybe wouldn’t have expected,” said Gatland.
“From my point of view we want it to be positive in the way potentially both teams play, I know the Barbarians will be wanting to throw the ball around.
“By all accounts they’ve already sold a lot of tickets, with over 50,000 sold there’ll be a good crowd there and, hopefully, it gives me a chance to thank to the Welsh public and fans and express my sincere thanks in terms of how much I’ve enjoyed these last 12 years.”
Brits, who has already turned out eight times for the BaaBaas during his distinguished career, pulls on the famous black-and-white jersey one more time and joins two other legends bidding farewell to international sport with a final appearance for the invitational side in former Ireland captain Best and Springboks prop “the Beast” Mtawarira.
Brits, one of the most popular players ever to wear a Barbarians shirt, lit up the Rugby World Cup 2019 after being persuaded out of retirement by Springboks Head Coach Rassie Erasmus.
The 38-year-old played at No8 for the first time in a decade when he started against Namibia and won hearts the world over with his bows to the ball kids throughout the tournament.
With eight appearances already for the Barbarians, he will be looking for another win to bookend a sensational Barbarians career. He started with a win over World Champions South Africa in 2007 and most recently turned out in the black-and-white in the 2018 victory against Argentina.
With the rugby world still buzzing after a phenomenal World Cup, the double-header, which also sees Wales Women take on their Barbarian counterparts, will give fans a golden opportunity to experience top-class international action at the Principality Stadium – an ideal day out with family and friends.
Fans can secure tickets starting from just £30 adults and £10 U16s, with ‘print-at-home’ available (which means no postage costs) from www.wru.wales/tickets for what will be a sensational afternoon of rugby.