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Ex-Australia coach Robbie Deans to lead Barbarians

The Barbarians will be coached by Robbie Deans for forthcoming fixtures against Ireland and an England XV.

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Former Australia coach Robbie Deans will lead the Barbarians when they take on Ireland and an England XV later this year.

The current coach of Japanese outfit Panasonic Wild Knights will oversee the invitational team's matches at Thomond Park and Twickenham on May 28 and 31 respectively.

Deans, who coached Australia from 2008 to 2013, has already started to assemble his squad, with compatriot Berrick Barnes, New Zealand's George Whitelock and Argentina's Tomas Cubelli called up.

"I count my trips back to the UK as special times in my rugby coaching career and a couple of fixtures against the third- and fourth-ranked rugby nations in a World Cup year are an exciting prospect," said Deans.

"The Barbarians are an iconic team with a special place in rugby's history and it is a privilege to be invited to be their coach.

"Their performances against England [39-29 win] and Australia [40-36 defeat] last year were outstanding and that is the standard we have to uphold."

In addition to the matches against Ireland and England, the Barbarians will meet Heriot's on April 21 to mark the Edinburgh club's 125th anniversary.

The announcement comes 42 to years to the day that Gareth Edwards scored one of the sport's most famous tries in a 23-11 win for the Barbarians against New Zealand in Cardiff.

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