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Regan To Skipper Barbarians

30 May 2008

By Andrew Baldock, PA Sport Rugby Union Correspondent

30 May 2008
World Cup winner Mark Regan will captain the Barbarians against England at Twickenham on Sunday.

The Bristol hooker, who has won 46 caps, leads a side that includes fellow England internationals Iain Balshaw and Andy Gomarsall.

Gloucester wing Balshaw, specifically, will have a chance to prove new England manager Martin Johnson wrong after he was overlooked for next month's New Zealand tour.

Balshaw is joined in the threequarter line by former Wales and Lions skipper Gareth Thomas, with Australian Morgan Turinui and Samoan Seilala Mapusua forming the midfield combination.

Elsewhere, Stephen Larkham will start at fly-half if he shakes off a knee complaint - Saracens' Glen Jackson stands by to replace him - while flanker Maama Molitika must overcome a shoulder injury that forced him to miss training in London.

If Cardiff Blues forward Molitika is sidelined, then David Croft will take over in the back row alongside Jerry Collins and Pedrie Wannenburg.

All Blacks flanker Collins, who announced his retirement from rugby in New Zealand earlier this week, arrived in England just two days ago, watching the Barbarians lose 39-14 against Ireland at Kingsholm on Tuesday night.

Collins' fellow New Zealander Craig Newby, meanwhile, left hospital after being carried off during the Ireland game.

Newby has suffered a partial ligament tear in his lower neck, and he will now rest for three to four weeks before joining Guinness Premiership finalists Leicester in time for pre-season training.

Team:

T Delport (Worcester); G Thomas (Cardiff Blues), M Turinui (Queensland Reds), S Mapusua (London Irish), I Balshaw (Gloucester); S Larkham (unattached) or G Jackson (Saracens), A Gomarsall (Harlequins); F Pucciariello (Munster), M Regan (Bristol, capt), C Visagie (Saracens), K Chesney (Saracens), J Harrison (Ulster), J Collins (unattached), M Molitika (Cardiff Blues) or D Croft (Queensland Reds), P Wannenburg (Blue Bulls).

Replacements: S Bruno (Sale Sharks), P Collazo (Gloucester), S Dellape (Biarritz), D Croft or M Chapman, M Claassens (Bath), S Larkham or G Jackson, J Pretorius (Lions).