Rising star named in Barbarians side
July 9, 2008

Big hitting Tongan backrower Epi Taione and giant Australian Under 20 wing sensation Ratu Nasiganiyavi have been included in the Alan Jones-coached Barbarians squad to face a Queensland XV at Ballymore on Sunday afternoon.

Early signing Justin Marshall has been forced out by an Achilles injury, but the former All Black scrumhalf's place will be filled by QR Reds and Wallaby Sam Cordingley.

Barbarians team manager Daniel Herbert said the loss of Marshall will be well covered by Cordingley and Fiji captain and 2007 world cup star Moses Rauluni, who will provide a testing afternoon at the scrumbase for Queensland youngsters Ben Lucas and Brendan McKibbin - as will the presence of Epi Taione.

"Epi and Moses were two of the best five players at last year's Rugby World Cup and they'll both be playing this game hard and fast, as they usually do," Herbert said.

"Out wide, Nasiganiyavi should prove a big hit with the crowd. He's a cousin of Lote Tuqiri and the commentators at the recent Junior World Cup in Wales were comparing him to a young Jonah Lomu."

Former Queensland-based players Mitchell Chapman (Brumbies), Scott Daruda (Western Force) and Jeremy Paul (Gloucester) will be back in Brisbane for the Barbarians, while former Reds and Wallaby No 8 Toutai Kefu is making the trip from Japan for the match, which is a fund-raiser for his old club Souths, as well as to finance an end-of-season development tour for the QR Reds.

Wallaby fullback Mark Gerrard is in the side, as are recently retired World Cup winning England wing Dan Luger, former All Black No 8 Scott Robertson and Argentina flyhalf Gonzalo Quesada.

The Barbarians squad is (in alphabetical order):

Mitchell Chapman (lock/No 6) Brumbies, Sam Cordingley (scrumhalf) QR Reds, Pek Cowan (LH prop) Force, Scott Daruda (flyhalf/centre) Force, Mark Gerrard (fullback/wing), Brumbies, Ben Gollings (flyhalf) Sunnybank/England 7s, Jason Harrington (lock/No 6) Australian Services RU, Toutai Kefu (No 8), Kubota, Japan, Dan Luger (wing/centre) England, Salesi Maafu (TH prop) Brumbies, Zane Mitchell (outside back) ASRU, Ratu Nasiganiyavi (wing) Waratahs, Daniel Palmer (TH prop) Waratahs, Jeremy Paul (hooker) Gloucester, Gonzalo Quesada (flyhalf) Argentina, Moses Rauluni (scrumhalf) Fiji/Saracens (UK), Scott Robertson (No 8), NZ, Beau Robinson (No 7) Waratahs, Epi Taione (No 6) Tonga/Sharks, Sitaleki Timani (lock/No 6) Brumbies, John Ulugia (hooker) Brumbies, Nathan Williams (outside back) Stingrays.

Jones and his assistant Alec Evans will run their first training session at Ballymore tomorrow afternoon (approx 3pm) with the starting side and captain to be named closer to the game.

The Queensland XV is (from fullback): Aidan Toua, Digby Ioane, Morgan Turinui, Charlie Fetoai, Blair Connor, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Leroy Houston, David Croft (c), Poutasi Luafutu, Robert Simmons, Van Humphries, James Slipper, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Reserves: Ben Daley, James Hansen, Liam Shaw, Dan Linde, Brendan McKibbin, Matt Brandon, Luke Morahan.

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