May 27, 2018 / 4:29 PM / 2 months ago

Rugby-England suffer heavy loss to inspired Barbarians

LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) - England’s preparations for their tour of South Africa suffered a setback as they lost 63-45 to the Barbarians in a non-cap match at Twickenham on Sunday, their fourth defeat in a row.

The hosts fielded a mixture of regular internationals and young players, but the inexperienced lineup was no match for the power of the Barbarians who ran in nine tries in an entertaining game full of running rugby.

Winger Chris Ashton, who has 39 caps for England, grabbed a hat-trick of tries for the Barbarians inside 25 minutes as they crossed the line five times in the first half.

Danny Cipriani made his return to the England side for the first time since 2015 for the second half, but he could not inspire an England fightback, leaving coach Eddie Jones with much to ponder ahead of the first test in South Africa on June 9. (Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond)

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