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Springboks rugby internationals to star for Barbarians at Twickenham

Eben Etzebeth, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and Handre Pollard are set to face Argentina with the Baa-baas in London on 1 December.

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Springboks Eben Etzebeth, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and Handre Pollard will be among the big name rugby stars playing for the Barbarians later this year.

The South African trio will feature at Twickenham in the Killik Cup clash against Argentina on 1 December, with tickets on sale now.

They hook up with the invitational side less than a year on from the Baa-baas’ electric 63-45 victory over England at the same venue.

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Etzebeth, Mtawarira and Pollard are all expected to be a part of the Springboks’ outgoing tour to Europe before the London showpiece.

They will play Test matches against England, France, Scotland and Wales in November before letting their hair down with the Baa-baas.

Australia scrum-half Will Genia is also one of the early recruits to sign up for the clash with Los Pumas.

More big names will be revealed in the coming weeks, but here’s the lowdown on South Africa’s Barbarians so far:

Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Etzebeth is called up for the Barbarians having notched 69 Springboks caps, including a spell as captain in the famous green and gold.

The combative, Cape Town-born lock is a Stormers and Western Province stalwart – with this his first invitation to wear the black and white jersey.

But he spent the entire 2018 Super Rugby season on the sidelines having picked up long-term injuries in the 2017 international against Wales.

Etzebeth returned in time to feature in this year’s Rugby Championship, featuring in both matches against December’s South American opponents.

He also played in the Springboks’ heart-stopping 36-34 win over the mighty All Blacks in Wellington earlier in September.

Etzebeth’s prowess has also led to rumours of a megabucks move to the French Top 14, with Toulon reported to be interested in snapping up the 26-year-old.

Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Tendai Mtawarira of Barbarians in action during the MasterCard Trophy match between Barbarians and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium on December 5, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tendai Mtawarira

The man, the myth, the legend. Mtawarira has been the Springboks’ front row talisman for a decade since making his Test debut in 2008.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, the man they call Beast has also racked up the appearances for the Sharks franchise in his adopted home city of Durban.

The loosehead prop has long been a dominant force in the scrum, is South Africa’s most-capped prop and became only the fifth man in green and gold to bring up a century of appearances in 2018.

He’s even played for the Baa-baas before, in a spellbinding 2009 victory over New Zealand.

If you’ve never seen the Beast in action before, just you wait until he gets on the carry, charges for the line and the cry of “Beeeaaassst” roars around Twickenham.

Handre Pollard

springboks xv vs new zealand
PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 28: Duane Vermeulen of South Africa with Fourie du Preez of South Africa Handre Pollard of South Africa and Lwazi Mvovo of South Africa during the Incoming Tour match between South Africa and Scotland at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on June 28, 2014 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Like Etzebeth, Pollard is set to make his first Baa-baas appearance in London on 1 December.

The fly-half or centre has made great strides to establish himself in the Springboks set-up.

Pollard has been a key figure in the Pretoria-based Blue Bulls side since 2014, the same year in which he made his Test debut, against Scotland.

31 Test caps have followed for the 24-year-old, who has featured in the fly-half role in three of the Springboks’ four Rugby Championship matches to date.

He came through the ranks at the famed Paarl Gimnasium School in the Western Cape.