- Star players make up the Barbarians squad for MasterCard Trophy match
- Wallabies' record cap-holder George Smith is set to face England on May 30
Photo: Getty Images
Players from around the world have accepted invitations for the Barbarians' 2010 summer tour which begins with the MasterCard Trophy match against England at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, May 30.
In a particularly strong back-row, Wallabies' record cap-holder George Smith is flying over to join another world-class flanker Martyn Williams of Wales, Ireland's Alan Quinlan, and Cardiff Blues' talismanic New Zealand No.8, Xavier Rush.
Elsewhere in the pack, Argentina's Rodrigo Roncero, Springbok Jannie du Plessis and David Barnes provide formidable selection options in the front row.
All Blacks' scrum half Byron Kelleher teams up with his Toulouse club mate Jean-Baptiste Ellisalde at half-back, where Australian fly half Brock James will also be joining the squad.
The prominent French flavour includes Cedric Haymans and Florian Fritz behind the scrum and Jerome Thion and Sebastien Bruno in it while England's Paul Sackey and Fijian flyer Napolioni Nalaga provide further pace and power on the wings.
Multinational squad delights Baa-Baas president
Barbarians' president Micky Steele-Bodger said: "It is one of the delights of our tours that so many players from so many different backgrounds readily accept our invitations to return or, indeed, make their first appearances for the Barbarians.
"We have a particularly tough tour this year with both England and Ireland likely to be at full strength ahead of their own test matches in the southern hemisphere. We are confident that we will again meet the challenge in the best spirit and traditions of the Barbarians."
The Barbarians' squad will be coached by Philippe Saint-Andre, assisted by Kingsley Jones. Both were proud Barbarians in their playing days and have worked successfully together in recent years as coaches with Sale Sharks.
Philippe Saint-Andre, now the director of rugby at Toulon, played three times for the Barbarians in the 1990s, including the 1994 match against South Africa when he was a try-scorer in the famous 23-15 victory for the club. Kingsley Jones represented the Barbarians twice on the 2000 summer tour.
The full Barbarians' squad will be announced on Monday, May 24.
After the England encounter, the tour continues the following Friday – June 4 – with another MasterCard Trophy match against Ireland at Thomond Park, Limerick.
Tickets are still available for the England v Barbarians clash via RFU.com, starting from £25.