- England take on the Barbarians on 28 May 2017
- Jones says the game acts as ideal preparation for Argentina
- Tickets on sale: www.englandrugby.com/tickets
England head coach Eddie Jones thinks the Old Mutual Wealth Cup clash against the Barbarians on 28 May is the ideal preparation for his side's two-Test tour of Argentina in June.
The Barbarians had an unbeaten Autumn series this year, registering a 31-31 draw with South Africa before beating the Czech Republic 71-0 and Fiji 40-7.
"It’s great to have that fixture back on our list,” said Jones. "I think the Barbarians are one of the traditional sides in the world and it gives the opportunity for guys who aren’t playing international rugby.
"They play with a style and a panache that makes the game entertaining. For us to have that fixture as a warm-up for the Argentina tour is a great bonus for us.
"It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for players to play for the Barbarians and to play against the Barbarians, so it’s that special sort of game that’s etched in everyone’s memory.”
England have met the Barbarians on 15 occasions since their first encounter in 1990, and lead the head-to-head 8-7. The Barbarians last registered a win against England in 2014, running out 39-29 winners. But the last meeting saw England prevail by a record 73-12 margin.
"Part of the reason we did well in Australia was because of that Test we had against Wales where we were able to play a lot of players who hadn’t been playing and to play in a high level game, so this Barbarians fixture is going to be enormously important.
"We’re hoping to have 10-15 players in the Lions squad so we’re going to have to put together a side very quickly and certainly that Barbarians game is very important.”
Tickets for the Old Mutual Wealth Cup match on May 28 are on sale now. Go to www.englandrugby.com/tickets