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Barbarians announce star-studded cast for June encounter with England XV

The free-running invitational side have nailed down several big names for their clash at Twickenham.

Matt Giteau has been named in the squad to face England.
Matt Giteau has been named in the squad to face England.
Image: Mike Egerton

THE BARBARIANS HAVE announced the first batch of players they will call upon for their clash with an England XV at Twickenham in June.

Australian international trio James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau will line out behind the scrum, with All Blacks Sitiveni Sivivatu, Hosea Gear, Jimmy Cowan and Rene Ranger offering further firepower.

Montpellier out-half François Trinh-Duc – continually ignored by national coach Philippe Saint-André – has also been confirmed. The prospect of the 27-year-old launching such a talented backline is an exciting one for fans of attacking rugby.

Aurélien Rougerie, the 33-year-old Clermont centre, completes the options for the Barbarians in the backs.

Up front, the first announcement of players for this clash includes grizzled Kiwi internationals Carl Hayman, Ali Williams and John Afoa. The invitational side have also managed to secure the services of Toulon back row Steffon Armitage and Clermont line-out specialist Julien Bonnaire for the 1st of June fixture.

The England XV who face the Barbarians at Twickenham will not receive Test caps, and with Stuart Lancaster’s first-choice team scheduled to play their opening match of a three-Test tour of New Zealand on June the 7th, the BaaBaas are likely to face an experimental selection.

The fact that the Aviva Premiership final takes place on the 31st of May means that the England XV will be even further diluted in terms of quality, but nonetheless, this exciting Barbarians selection is sure to make it an enjoyable fixture.

Further player announcements will be made by the Barbarians in the coming weeks.

Barbarians (v England XV): James O’Connor (London Irish, Australia), Drew Mitchell (Toulon, Australia), Hosea Gear (Toulouse, New Zealand), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont, New Zealand), Aurélien Rougerie (Clermont, France), Rene Ranger (Montpellier, New Zealand), Matt Giteau (Toulon, Australia), François Trinh Duc (Montpellier, France), Jimmy Cowan (Gloucester, New Zealand)

Steffon Armitage (Toulon, England), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont, France), Ali Williams (Toulon, New Zealand), Carl Hayman (Toulon, New Zealand), John Afoa (Ulster, New Zealand).

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