The Barbarians rugby team takes on Tonga at Thomond Park on Friday night with a 7.30pm kick-off.
The squad that assembled last week and narrowly lost 31-22 to the All Blacks at Twickenham now includes the former Munster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions player Donncha O’Callaghan along with two current Munster props James Cronin and Brian Scott. Connacht captain John Muldoon is also included in the squad for the game in Limerick as is Leinster and Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy.
Among the many international stars named are former South African captain Adriaan Strauss (66 caps), All Blacks Julian Savea and scrum half Andy Ellis (28 caps), Wallabies Sam Carter (16 caps) and Taqele Naiyaravoro, as well as England and Lions player Geoff Parling (32 caps).
The Barbarian coaches, Robbie Deans and Scott Robertson have selected two of the biggest and most destructive wingers in World Rugby in Naiyaravoro and Savea.
All Black try scoring sensation Julian Savea, known as “The Bus” has scored 46 tries in 54 appearances for New Zealand. The Hurricanes player is 6ft 4” and weighs just under 17 stone, while Australian Taqele Naiyaravoro, aka “The Tank” is also 6ft 4” and weighs in at 19.5 stone.
Friday is also an historic occasion for rugby as the Barbarians Women’s team, which will be captained by former Ireland captain and 2013 Grand Slam winner Fiona Coghlan, makes its debut against Munster Women in the afternoon, kicking-off at 4.45pm.
The 23 player squad has been selected by England World Cup winner Giselle Mather and comprises 1,019 international caps from 7 different nations. Along with Fiona Coghlan, Maz Reilly and Jackie Shiels will start the game, with the other Irish players, Ailis Egan, Edel McMahon, Nora Stapleton and Tania Rosser named on the bench.