Wallabies coach Eddie Jones will get a close look at his returning World Cup probables Quade Cooper and Samu Kerevi when they turn out for his Barbarians invitation team against a World XV at Twickenham.
The Japanese-based star duo, on the road back after long-term injuries, will be up against fellow Australians Israel Folau and Marika Koroibete in the star-studded fixture which also features a fascinating coaching duel between old rivals Jones and the World XV’s New Zealand mentor Steve Hansen.
Jones, who’ll be back at Twickenham in the May 28 fixture for the first time since being sacked as England boss after a seven-year spell and then reappointed as Wallabies boss, has taken the chance to see how Cooper and Kerevi are shaping after their lengthy injury problems.
The mercurial 35-year-old Cooper, who returned to the Wallabies set-up two years ago after a four-year absence, ruptured his Achilles while in Argentina with the Wallabies last August.
But the 76-time capped Cooper has been impressing for his Japanese club, Kintetsu Liners, and is still firmly in Jones’ plans for September’s global showpiece with no other No.10 having convincingly nailed down the playmaking spot.
Kerevi, who had looked good against the Jones-coached England last July, then suffered a serious knee injury playing sevens at the Commonwealth Games in August and is just returning to action.
“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,” said Jones, whose side will also include Welsh Test stars Alun Wyn Jones, Rhys Webb and Taulupe Faletau.
As well as the controversial former Wallaby Folau and John Eales medal winner Koroibete, Hansen’s World XV will also include Charles Piutau, Ngani Laumape and Semi Radradra.