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Barbarians Squad Includes Five Irish-Based Players

Barbarians Squad Includes Five Irish-Based Players

There are five Irish-based players, including retiring Munster and Ireland lock Mick O’Driscoll, in the Barbarians squad that has been selected for their three-match summer tour.

Star names from ten countries, including three cap centurions, feature in a 33-strong Barbarians squad for their summer clashes with England, Ireland and Wales.

Mick O’Driscoll is poised to make his debut for the Baa Baas and there are also squad places for his Munster team-mate BJ Botha, who has two previous Barbarians games under his belt, and Ulster duo John Afoa and Pedrie Wannenburg.

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Fijian international Isa Nacewa, one of Leinster’s leading lights in recent seasons, will get a chance to add to his two previous Barbarians appearances. He scored two tries – one of them a memorable late match winner – in their victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium last June.

New Zealand prop Afoa has yet to play for the Baa Baas, but South African back rower Wannenburg was involved in previous touring sides – he scored a try in their 39-14 defeat to Ireland in Gloucester in May 2008.

The Barbarians’ 2012 summer tour opener against England on May 27 is followed by assignments against Ireland in Gloucester and Wales at the Millennium Stadium. The Barbarians defeated all three countries in their most recent fixtures against them.

Latest additions to the squad announced today include Nacewa, New Zealand’s most-capped full-back Mils Muliaina, South Africa’s World Cup winning captain John Smit and Argentine points machine and former Leinster ace Felipe Contepomi.

Among the Barbarian debutants behind the scrum are Samoan duo Sailosi Tagicakibau and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and a home nations’ trio of Mike Tindall, Stephen Jones and Rory Lawson.

Shane Williams is set to take his final curtain on the international stage when the Barbarians face Wales on June 2.

In an experienced pack O’Driscoll, Afoa, Duncan Jones, John Beattie and Juan Manuel Leguizamon also become Baa Baas for the first time.

The squad, which will be coached by New Zealand legend John Kirwan assisted by Grant Doorey, will assemble in London on May 22.

BARBARIANS 2012 SUMMER TOUR Squad – Backs (15): Isa Nacewa (Fiji), Mils Muliaina (New Zealand), Ian Balshaw (England), Cedric Heymans (France), Shane Williams (Wales), Paul Sackey (England), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa), Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu (Samoa), Mike Tindall (England), Damien Traille (France), Felipe Contepomi (Argentina), Stephen Donald (New Zealand), Stephen Jones (Wales), Rory Lawson (Scotland), Jerome Fillol (France).

Forwards (18): Schalk Brits (South Africa), Benoit August (France), John Smit (South Africa), Aled de Malmanche (New Zealand), John Afoa (New Zealand), Duncan Jones (Wales), BJ Botha (South Africa), Neemia Tialata (New Zealand), Jerome Thion (France), Mick O’Driscoll (Ireland), Anton van Zyl (South Africa), Pelu Taele (Samoa), Raphael Lakafia (France), Antoine Burban (France), Akupusi Qera (Fiji), John Beattie (Scotland), Pedrie Wannenburg (South Africa), Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Argentina).


Sunday, May 27 v England, Twickenham, 2.30pm
Tickets from www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Tuesday, May 29 v Ireland, Kingsholm, Gloucester, 7.45pm
Tickets from www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk

Saturday, June 2 v Wales, Millennium Stadium, 2pm
Tickets from www.ticketmaster.co.uk