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Pat Lam: Experience and firepower in this Barbarians squad

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The Barbarians have named a squad packed full of international stars with nine different nations represented when they take on an England XV on Sunday, June 2 (3.30pm).

The Quilter Cup match is part of a double header at Twickenham Stadium with the unbeaten Barbarians women’s side also taking on the Red Roses (12:45).

England’s Joe Marler lines up against his former national side with experienced forwards like New Zealand’s John Afoa and Liam Messam, South Africa’s Francois Louw and Australia’s James Horwill, who makes the final professional appearance of his distinguished career.

And the back line includes some of the most exciting attacking talents in the European game, including New Zealand’s Charles Piutau, MalakaI Fekitoa and Australia’s Taqele Naiyaravoro, with experienced half backs in Wales’s Rhys Webb and New Zealand’s Colin Slade.

Joe Marler at Barbarians training

England's Joe Marler listens in at training

In line with the club’s traditions there are four uncapped players named in the squad in Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman from the Pro14 , Gloucester centre Mark Atkinson from the Premiership, and Bordeaux Begles fly half Brock James and Toulon wing Filipo Nakosi from the Top 14.

Head Coach Pat Lam returns to Twickenham after guiding the famous invitation side to a record 63-45 win over England last year, when Chris Ashton scored three of the Barbarians’ nine tries.

"We’ve got really good experience across the board and it’s great that there are nine different countries represented,” said Lam.

“We’re also delighted to have James Horwill on board — he’s had a tremendous career at the top of the game and to give him the opportunity to play his last professional game of rugby with us is pleasing.

Bill Mata

Pro-14 Player of the Year Viliame Mata of Edinburgh

"Overall we’ve selected experience and size up front, exciting players who can make things happen from nothing, and we have some firepower out wide.

"This is a unique team with quality players and it will only play together this one time. So as per last year, I’ll be setting out to get our preparation right on and off the field to ensure we come together as brothers in a short amount of time to hopefully be a world class TEAM on Sunday.”

Barbarians squad

Forwards

Joe Marler (Harlequins & England)

Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh)

John Afoa (Bristol Bears & New Zealand)

Finlay Bealham (Connacht & Ireland)

David Heffernan (Connacht & Ireland)

Richard Hibbard (Dragons & Wales)

James Horwill (Harlequins & Australia)

Chris Vui (Bristol Bears & Samoa)

Steven Luatua (Bristol Bears & New Zealand)

Facundo Isa (Toulon & Argentina)

Liam Messam (Toulon & New Zealand)

Viliame Mata (Edinburgh & Fiji)

Francois Louw (Bath & South Africa)

Backs

Rhys Webb (Toulon & Wales)

Rhodri Williams (Dragons & Wales)

Colin Slade (Pau & New Zealand)

Brock James (Bordeaux Begles)

Mark Atkinson (Gloucester)

Malakai Fekitoa (Toulon & New Zealand)

Filipo Nakosi (Toulon)

Taqele Naiyaravoro (Northampton Saints & Australia)

Niyi Adeolokun (Connacht & Ireland)

Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears & New Zealand)