- Former England U20 flanker Sam Jones named in Barbarians squad
- Four Italian giants named among forwards for England clash on May 26
Photo: Getty Images
The Barbarians' squad for their eagerly-anticipated two-match tour against England and the British and Irish Lions is a step nearer completion with the announcement of 22 players who will form the nucleus of the touring party.
Included in the latest batch of star names to confirm their availability are former Lions James Hook, Dwayne Peel and Matthew Rees, All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Nick Evans, four members of Italy's Six Nations' team – Sergio Parisse, Martin Castrogiovanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini and Alessandro Zanni – and Springboks B J Botha, Marco Wentzel and Francois Louw.
In all, ten different nationalities are represented, including two new flying wings, United States Eagle Takudzwa Ngwenya and Hong Kong's sevens' skipper Rowan Varty plus Samoa's world-class scrum half Kahn Fotuali'i.
Photo: Getty Images
In the best Barbarians' tradition two uncapped players have been invited – Kiwi full back Jared Payne, currently with Ulster after several seasons of Super Rugby with the Crusaders and Blues, and former England Under 20 flanker Sam Jones of London Wasps.
Team manager Derek Quinnell said: "Our selection process has taken several months and is still not quite complete. Over the next week or so we will be monitoring the domestic play-off matches in Europe and the various national squads for the summer tours.
"Also, one or two players in the squad announced today may not be available for both of our matches so we expect to add other significant names to the team in the near future."
The Barbarians kick-off their tour against England at Twickenham on 26 May before flying to Hong Kong for the historic encounter against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday 1 June.
Tickets are available for England vs Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on May 26, priced at £40 and £25 for adults and £10 for juniors.
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Rowan Varty (DeA Tigers & Hong Kong)
Takudzwa Ngwenya (Bairritz Olympique & USA)
Joe Rokocoko (Bayonne & New Zealand)
James Hook (Perpignan & Wales)
Nick Evans (Harlequins & New Zealand)
Kahn Fotuali'i (Ospreys & Samoa)
Dwayne Peel (Sale Sharks & Wales)
Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique & France)
Duncan Jones (Ospreys & Wales)
B J Botha (Munster & South Africa)
Paul James (Bath Rugby & Wales)
Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester & Italy)
Matthew Rees (Scarlets & Wales)
Leonardo Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso & Italy)
Marco Wentzel (London Wasps & South Africa)
Jim Hamilton (Gloucester Rugby & Scotland)
Francois Louw (Bath Rugby & South Africa)
Sam Jones (London Wasps)
Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Treviso & Italy)
Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais & Italy)
Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz Olympique & France)
Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby & England)