Friday 28 July 2017

Will Greenwood to coach Barbarians for November clash with the Springboks

Will Greenwood
Will Greenwood

Andy Sims

England World Cup winner Will Greenwood will coach the Barbarians against South Africa in November.

The 43-year-old former Leicester and Harlequins centre turned TV pundit will team up with ex-Australia head coach Robbie Deans.

Greenwood was part of England's World Cup winning side in 2003, when Jonny Wilkinson's dramatic drop-kick in extra time sealed a 20-17 victory over Australia.

The Barbarians face South Africa at Wembley on November 5.

The invitation side - in their 125th season - will be aiming for a third successive victory in the series after beating the Springboks in 2010 and 2007.

Greenwood represented the Barbarians twice as a player, against Ireland in 1996 - before he was capped by England - and against Scotland 10 years later.

"I grew up watching the Barbarians who are still an iconic side that brings great names together to play entertaining and enjoyable rugby," said Greenwood.

"It was an honour to play for them twice and it is a privilege to be involved in coaching the team against South Africa this year - helping give them a structure in which they can express themselves.

"Bringing people together from different countries to play for each other and for the traditions the Barbarians represent is a great challenge and one I'm looking forward to."

New Zealander Deans is the most successful coach in Super Rugby history after winning five titles with the Crusaders between 2000 and 2008. He returns to the Barbarians after coaching them to a win over Ireland and a defeat against England in May 2014.

"My recent experience reaffirmed what a privilege it is to be involved with the Barbarians and the players all understood that," said Deans.

"It's a great opportunity for everyone. We'll be playing the ultimate rugby nation in South Africa, they'll have a new coaching staff in place and they're a latent giant waiting to be awoken.

"They were probably the closest of all apart from New Zealand to winning the World Cup. There was very little between those sides.

"With the talent they've got they'll keep improving and the hunger will grow. If you add in a new coaching staff to that and it's a powerful mix.

"I'm looking forward to working with Will and it'll be good to have such an expert on board. Will's got a lot of experience, he's a World Cup winner and it's great to have him involved with the Barbarians."

South Africa are due to name a new head coach to succeed Heyneke Meyer next month.

Press Association

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