Nick Cummins and a trio of World Cup-winning All Blacks have been named as part of a World XV outfit to take on the Western Force in Perth on March 22.
Former Force stars Cummins and Digby Ioane will feature for the World XV, as well as former All Blacks Andy Ellis, Wyatt Crockett, and Corey Flynn.
The side, to be coached by former Wallabies mentor Robbie Deans, features players from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Argentina, South Africa and Tonga. All up, the squad includes 10 players with Test experience.
Former Wallabies winger Cummins, aka the Honey Badger, was a fan favourite during his time at the Force. More recently he has hit the headlights for his appearance on reality TV show, The Bachelor.
Goodness gracious, Will Genia’s still got it. After a poor finish to 2018, the Rebels halfback is seemingly back to his best. Meanwhile, are the All Blacks inching closer to a Ngani Laumape-Jack Goodhue midfield combination?
The World XV outfit will have just four days together in Perth, with most having not experienced the rule variations of Global Rapid Rugby. But Deans is adamant his team will be ready to put on a show.
“We have achieved wins off similar time frames in terms of preparation against the Japanese Test side and the players we have selected for this game won’t lack for motivation,” Deans said.
“In a few short years, this team has built up an outstanding history to the extent that many who have played have said afterwards the experience ranked up there with the most enjoyable of their careers.”
Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest was forced to put his Global Rapid Rugby competition launch on hold this year after running out of time to organise a fully-fledged eight-team league.
Instead, the Force will play a mini exhibition series against sides from the Asia and Pacific region.
Forrest now plans to launch in 2020.
WORLD XV SQUAD:
Gio Aplon (South Africa), Yoshikazu Fujita (Japan), Nick Cummins (Australia), Digby Ioane (Australia), Dylan Riley (Australia), Inga Finau (New Zealand), Kosei Ono (Japan), Leon Fukofuka (Tonga), Andy Ellis (New Zealand, captain), Leonardo Senatore (Argentina), Hugh Renton (New Zealand), Michael Curry (New Zealand), Shota Fukui (Japan), Michael Oakman-Hunt (Australia), Jack Cornelsen (Australia), Hamish Dalzell (New Zealand), Tom Moloney (Australia), Chris King (New Zealand), Shohei Hirano (Japan), Wyatt Crockett (New Zealand), Greg Pleasants-Tate (New Zealand), Corey Flynn (New Zealand)