Eddie Jones is relishing the prospect of a swift return to Twickenham next summer after being announced as the man who will lead the Barbarians against a Steve Hansen-led World XV.
Jones was dismissed as England’s head coach last week just nine months out from the 2023 World Cup but will take charge of the Barbarians for a second time next May with the Killik Cup up for grabs.
The Australian’s previous match in the hot seat saw the Baa-baas edged out 33-31 by Fiji in a rollercoaster clash at Twickenham in 2019 and he is hoping to turn the tables this time around.
“It’s an incredible honour to be asked to coach the Barbarians for a second time,” Jones said.
“The club showed during the autumn that the values and traditions which make the Barbarians so special are still very much alive.
“Fans can expect to see two top-quality teams, packed full of international players, going all out to catch the eye ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
“I am very much looking forward to returning to Twickenham Stadium – a venue I have so many fond memories of – as head coach of the Barbarians, and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show.
“Going up against Steve rekindles a great rivalry which first started in our days competing in Super Rugby and progressed into the international arena.
“It’ll be a great challenge and one I’m sure we’re both relishing.”
The Baa-baas are fresh from a busy autumn which began with them retaining the Killik Cup courtesy of a 35-31 win over an All Blacks XV in front of 35,000 people at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
A last-gasp triumph over Bath Rugby was sandwiched by defeats against Northampton Saints and Harlequins as the club helped Premiership clubs fill their schedules following the cancellation of all league fixtures involving Wasps and Worcester Warriors.
May’s clash will see the Barbarians return to Twickenham for the first time since beating England 52-21 in June while it will also represent the first convening of a World XV for five years.
Hansen, a Rugby World Cup winner during his seven-year stint at the helm of the All Blacks, will take charge of the star-studded opposition and said: “2023 is set to be an incredible year for rugby and I’m really excited to be returning to Twickenham.
“I’ve coached both for and against the Barbarians during my career, and while you always have to expect the unexpected where they are concerned, you can be certain that come Sunday 28 May we’ll have a hugely entertaining match played in a festival atmosphere.
“The Rugby World Cup will be firmly on the horizon when this match comes around, and we hope we can showcase many of the players who will go on to be stars of the tournament in France during this Killik Cup clash.”
Tickets for the 3pm kick-off on May 28 are on sale now – click here to find out more.