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Matfield and Henson lined up for Classic

Victor Matfield and Gavin Henson are set to apply a sprinkle of stardust on the 32nd World Rugby Classic at North Field, National Sports Centre, in November.

Matfield played for South Africa when they won the Classic in 2013 before reigniting his international career, having initially retired after the 2011 World Cup.

The 42-year-old was considered one of the best locks in the world and was the cornerstone of South Africa's triumph at the World Cup in 2007.

Henson, once the golden boy of Welsh rugby, attracted plenty of media attention as part of a Wales team which won Grand Slams at the Six Nations Championship in 2005 and 2008.

A former British and Irish Lion, Henson had a colourful and controversial career and has taken part in three reality television shows, including the popular Strictly Come Dancing and The Bachelor.

The 37-year-old, who has played in a variety of positions including centre, fly half and full back, was released by the Pro14 league side Dragons at the end of the last season.

Although the Classic is more than five months away, the Lions and Ireland have already named their squads.

Included in the Lions contingent are Gethin Jenkins, Wales' most capped player with 129 appearances between 2002 and 2018, Delon Armitage, who was capped 26 times by England from 2008 and 2012, Max Evans, who turned out for Scotland on 44 occasions and fellow Scot Richie Vernon, who won 24 caps.

The Irish have named many of the players who took part in last year's Classic, the first time Ireland had competed in the annual competition for 25 years.

Gordon D'Arcy, who was capped 82 times from 1999 to 2015, winning two Six Nations and a pair of Grand Slams, brothers Paddy and David Wallace, as well as Malcolm O'Kelly, who was capped 92 times, have been named in the travelling party.

They will be joined by Shane Jennings, who made 13 appearances for his country from 2007 to 2012.

The Classic will change from its traditional Sunday opening this year and will now start on Saturday evening when Canada take on Italy and Argentina, the defending champions, face France.

On the Monday evening, Ireland will play the USA Super Eagles while the Lions will take on South Africa.

The Classic will run from November 2 to 9.

Former Wales star Gavin Henson

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Published May 30, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated May 30, 2019 at 12:59 am)

Matfield and Henson lined up for Classic

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