Gordon D’Arcy could make his debut for the Barbarians later this month, having been named alongside his Grand Slam colleague Geordan Murphy in the Baa Baas squad to play England at Twickenham on Saturday, May 30.
Ireland’s Gordon D’Arcy and Geordan Murphy will line out for their respective sides, Leinster and Leicester Tigers, in the Heineken Cup final at Murrayfield on Saturday, May 23, but a week later they will join forces for the Barbarians.
In all, there have been four players from Irish provincial teams included in the Baa Baas squad – D’Arcy and his Leinster team-mate Rocky Elsom are two, and Munster winger Doug Howlett and Ulster prop BJ Botha, who are both newcomers to the Barbarians, complete the quartet.
The composition of the Barbarians squad for the 2009 summer tour is reaching completion, with 24 players confirmed so far.
Of course D’Arcy’s plans could yet change, as he is currently in contention to replace the injured Tom Shanklin in the British & Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa.
The Barbarians squad, coached by Cardiff Blues boss Dai Young and London Irish assistant coach Mike Catt, are due to meet up on May 26.
The Barbarians will play England at Twickenham of Saturday, May 30 before flying to Sydney where they will play Australia at Sydney Football Stadium on the evening of Saturday, June 6.
Young said: “I’m delighted with the squad that’s been selected and I’m looking forward to working with them and Mike Catt when we meet up on May 26.
“The squad is full of quality players, including a number of World Cup, Tri Nations and Grand Slam winners and I’m expecting them to give a very good account of themselves when they play England and Australia.”
Tickets for the England v Barbarians match (kick-off 4.15pm) are priced from £25 for adults and £10 for under-16s and are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
BARBARIANS 2009 SUMMER TOUR Squad: Backs (12) – Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues & New Zealand), Doug Howlett (Munster & New Zealand)*, Seilala Mapusua (London Irish & Samoa), Luke McAlister (Sale Sharks & New Zealand)*, Josh Lewsey (London Wasps & England)*, Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers & Ireland), Ian Balshaw (Gloucester & England), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster & Ireland)*, Sonny Bill Williams (Toulon)*, Peter Grant (Stormers & South Africa), Justin Marshall (Saracens & New Zealand), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique & France)*.
Forwards (12) – Sebastien Bruno (Sale Sharks & France), Schalk Brits (Stormers & South Africa), Iestyn Thomas (Scarlets & Wales)*, Greg Somerville (Gloucester & New Zealand)*, BJ Botha (Ulster & South Africa)*, Justin Harrison (Bath & Australia), Chris Jack (Saracens & New Zealand), Paul Tito (Cardiff Blues)*, Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers & England), Jerry Collins (Toulon & New Zealand), Rocky Elsom (Leinster & Australia), Serge Betsen (London Wasps & France)*
[* – denotes new Barbarian]