FOREST rugby stars will look to succeed where Australia, Wales and South Africa have failed in dealing a defeat to England head coach Eddie Jones.
Players from across the district will face off against the likes of Nick Wood and Karl Dickson in an annual charity match organised by Premiership referee Wayne Barnes.
Bream boy Barnes has brought together Wood, Dickson and former Gloucester man Rory Teague – among others – to take on a Forest XV selected by Lydney coach Dave Emery.
But Emery faces a tough task as he pits his wits against arguably the best head coach in the land.
The game takes place on Sunday at Lydney’s Regentsholme ground, with matches from the hosts’ youth teams serving as warm-ups for the main event.
Emery’s Forest side includes former teammates and players from Cinderford, Newent, Drybrook, Berry Hill and former club Bream, as well as the home club.
Ben Lewis, James Bashford, Chris Holder, Chris Rawlings, Jack O’Connell and Ross and Tom Webb all have a place in the XV looking to take on Barnes and his band of merry men.
Former Lydney director of rugby Duncan Bell will return to the club as part of Barnes’ side, joining fellow ex-England international Shaun Perry and officials JP Doyle and Ian Tempest.
The match is followed by six live bands, a raffle and auction with exclusive prizes.
A signed shirt from European Champions Cup finalists Clermont is the top prize, while entry includes a chance to win tickets to the Premiership final next month.
All proceeds go to Breast Cancer Now.
“Eddie’s agreed to come down and help us out,” said Barnes’ wife Polly.
“He’s said he’ll do a quick Q&A and share a beer afterwards! Wayne obviously spends a lot of time with him and we’re delighted to have him.”
Emery meanwhile is hoping his side can retain the Debbie Broderick Cup after a string of wins.
“Hopefully those attending can expect a win from us!” he said.
“It’s a team full of people I’ve played with and keep in touch with and it’ll be great to take on players that a lot of Foresters will have gone to see at Gloucester like Nick Wood and Rory Teague.
“It’s not every day that you get the current England coach to come to Lydney – we don’t tend to get privileges like that in the Forest often so it’s bound to be a great day for the charity and for the club.”
The event starts at 11am with music on an outdoor stage as well as in the clubhouse. Entry is £6 per person.