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Robbie Deans strives to keep Barbarians valuable amid rugby’s clutter

The BaaBaas line up against the All Blacks with several New Zealanders in their own side but their coach insists they can still offer vital experience for budding internationals

It can be all too easy to laud New Zealand for their black magic, to marvel at their sorcery and wonder precisely what kind of deal they have made with the devil. On Saturday however, we may just witness the greatest trick they ever pulled.

The All Blacks celebrate their 125th anniversary on Saturday in what, on the face of it, appears to be a glorified trial match for a number of the New Zealanders – there are 10 in total – representing the Barbarians. Julian Savea heads the queue but Richie Mo’unga, Vince Aso and George Bridge also fall into the category of players on, or approaching, the fringes of the All Blacks squad.

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