Barbarians bolster squad for summer tour
May 7, 2013
James Hook could line up against the Lions come the summer © PA Photos
The Barbarians have confirmed the names of 22 players who will form the bulk of the squad for their summer tour matches against England and the British & Irish Lions.
While the historic touring side had already revealed the likes of Martin Castrogiovanni and Sergio Parisse will line up for them come the summer, they have bolstered their squad further with some proven Test talent.
Former Lions James Hook, Dwayne Peel and Matthew Rees will all hope to show Warren Gatland and the rest of his backroom staff what they are missing with a strong performance against the Lions on June 1 in Hong Kong and they have been included alongside former All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Nick Evans.
And Parisse and Castrogiovanni have been joined by their Italian team-mates Leonardo Ghiraldini and Alessandro Zanni. They will line-up alongside Springboks BJ Botha, Marco Wentzel and Bath's Francois Louw.
The Baabaas have also named USA flyer Taku Ngwenya in the squad while Ulster's Jared Payne and Wasps' promising youngster Sam Jones have also got the nod. And Jones, who will be coached by his club coach Dai Young while on Barbarians duty, was delgihted with the call-up.
At just 21-years old Jones, has already represented Wasps at senior level 53 times and was the Club's Young Player of the Year last season.
"I am looking at it as a once in a lifetime opportunity," Jones said. "Not many people get to play for the Barbarians, especially not when they are young and uncapped so it's a huge deal for me. I've had to cancel a couple of holidays but I had absolutely no problem with that! It's a very special thing for me and my family and I can't wait to get involved."
The Baabaas' team manager Derek Quinnell said of the squad: "Our selection process has taken several months and is still not quite complete. Over the next week or so we will be monitoring the domestic play-off matches in Europe and the various national squads for the summer tours. Also, one or two players in the squad announced today may not be available for both of our matches so we expect to add other significant names to the team in the near future."
The Barbarians kick-off their tour against England at Twickenham on May 26 before flying to Hong Kong for their match against the Lions on June 1.
Alessandro Zanni will line up for the Barbarians © PA Photos
Forwards: Duncan Jones (Ospreys & Wales), B J Botha (Munster & South Africa), Paul James (Bath Rugby & Wales), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester & Italy), Matthew Rees (Scarlets & Wales), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso & Italy), Marco Wentzel (London Wasps & South Africa), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester Rugby & Scotland), Francois Louw (Bath Rugby & South Africa), Sam Jones (London Wasps), Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Treviso & Italy), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais & Italy), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz Olympique & France)
Backs: Jared Payne (Ulster), Rowan Varty (DeA Tigers & Hong Kong), Takudzwa Ngwenya (Bairritz Olympique & USA), Joe Rokocoko (Bayonne & New Zealand), James Hook (Perpignan & Wales), Nick Evans (Harlequins & New Zealand), Kahn Fotuali'i (Ospreys & Samoa), Dwayne Peel (Sale Sharks & Wales), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique & France)
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