Baa-baas bolstered by big names
May 20, 2010
Wallaby George Smith is ready to team up with the Barbarians once more © PA Photos
Jannie du Plessis Florian Fritz Cedric Heymans Byron Kelleher Napolioni Nalaga Alan Quinlan Xavier Rush Paul Sackey George Smith Jerome Thion Martyn Williams
The Barbarians have unveiled a star-studded list of players to tackle England and Ireland that includes ex-All Blacks scrum-half Byron Kelleher and former Wallabies stalwart George Smith.
The Baa-Baas face England at Twickenham on Sunday, May 30 and Ireland on Friday, June 4 at Thomond Park with Kelleher's Toulouse club-mate Jean-Baptiste Ellisalde and Clermont's Australian fly-half Brock James also set to wear the famous black and white jersey. In a particularly strong back-row selection, Australia's record cap-holder Smith joins Wales' Martyn Williams, Ireland's Alan Quinlan and New Zealander Xavier Rush.
Argentina's Rodrigo Roncero, Springbok Jannie du Plessis and Bath veteran David Barnes provide formidable selection options in the front row while the presence of the likes of Toulouse's Cedric Heymans, Toulon-bound Paul Sackey, Clermont's Napolioni Nalaga and Toulouse's Florian Fritz will also cause concern. Biarritz's Jerome Thion and Toulon's Sebastien Bruno will provide some extra beef up front.
The Barbarians will be coached by Toulon's Phillipe Saint Andre and he will be assisted by his former Sale colleague Kingsley Jones. Barbarians' president Micky Steele-Bodger is eagerly anticipating the tour for which the full squad will be announced on May 24.
"It is one of the delights of our tours that so many players from so many different backgrounds readily accept our invitations to return or, indeed, make their first appearances for the Barbarians," he said. "We have a particularly tough tour this year with both England and Ireland likely to be at full strength ahead of their own test matches in the southern hemisphere. We are confident that we will again meet the challenge in the best spirit and traditions of the Barbarians."