Baa Baas call on Parisse
ESPNscrum Staff
April 7, 2011
Sergio Parisse leads Italy's celebrations after beating France, Italy v France, Six Nations, Stadio Flaminio, Rome, Italy, March 12, 2011
Italy captain Sergio Parisse is one of a host of internationals to be called up by the Barbarians © Getty Images

The Barbarians have announced a first batch of players who will be involved in their fixture against Wales on June 4.

The Welsh Rugby Union have decided to award caps for the Millennium Stadium game, which is Wales' last before their August World Cup warm-up matches against England and Argentina.

Italy captain Sergio Parisse will be part of a Barbarians squad coached by Cardiff Blues chief David Young, while other names also released include South African backs Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar, former Australia flanker George Smith and Ireland prop John Hayes.

"We have the spine of a pretty impressive line-up already, and there will be plenty more names in the coming weeks which will whet the appetite for what should be a spectacular game of rugby," commented Youngs.

"It will be interesting for me personally coaching against Wales, and against a side with probably many of my own regional squad players in it. I am particularly looking forward to fielding a back-row with Parisse and Smith playing together and, knowing who we plan to slot in alongside them, it's going to be a pretty exciting trio."

Steyn, currently plying his trade in France with Racing Cub and Piennar, starring for Ulster in the Magners League, were both part of the Springboks 2007 RWC triumph and both could face Wales again with South Africa if selected for the Springboks later this year.

Looking ahead to the match-up, Wales assistant coach Rob Howley added, "This is a huge game for Wales, vital to our preparations for the Rugby World Cup and I'm delighted by the decision to award full Test caps for the match. This game is an opportunity for players who may have been on the fringe of our squad, but also a huge opportunity for us to bounce back from the result against France and for the guys who played in that game.

"On a personal level Barbarians rugby is very close to my heart in my own career, it's a tradition that is steeped in history in the rugby world and we are so delighted as a management team just seeing some of the names that have been put forward for selection for that game.

"We are delighted, also, to see Dai Young coaching the Barbarians, he is a very good friend and we have a huge amount of respect for his coaching ability and the challenge is one we are very much looking forward to. It's the next game for us and that's the important part of RWC preparation, you have to take that competition game by game, the match also gives us an opportunity to look at our own squad and the players putting themselves forward for RWC selection."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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