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Piutau, Mata, Isa and Messam join Barbarians

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The Barbarians have made four more big-name acquisitions to the squad facing an England XV at Twickenham on June 2 — and pledged to play with the spirit that honours the memory of their former President.

Head coach Pat Lam has called up full back Charles Piutau from his own club Bristol Bears along with Edinburgh’s award-winning No.8 Viliame Mata and Toulon back row forwards Liam Messam and Facundo Isa.

It increases the depth of talent available to Lam, whose side beat England by a record 63-45 scoreline in the Quilter Cup match last year.

And he hopes they will produce a performance to honour them memory of long-standing club President Micky Steeele-Bodger, who passed away at the age of 93 last week.

Lam said: "Everyone involved in rugby was sad to hear about Micky’s passing. He was such a great character, gave so much to the game for so long, and held strong beliefs about the way it should be played on and off the field. 

“The players and management will honour his memory as much as we can in the competitive and exciting way we try to play the game, and in the friendships that will be established by a unique group of players.”

Charles Piutau

Charles Piutau made a try-scoring debut against Fiji in 2013

The Quilter Cup match is part of a Twickenham double header which also sees the Barbarians Women's side take on England's Red Roses for the first time.

Mata, an Olympic sevens gold medallist with Fiji, picked up the Pro-14 Players Player of the Year Award this month. He also helped propel Edinburgh into the knock-out stages of the European Champions Cup and was part of the Fiji side that beat France for the first time in November last year.

Former All Black Piutau made a try-scoring return from injury for Bristol against Sale Sharks this month and returns to the Barbarians after scoring on his debut for the club against Fiji in 2013.

Messam brings the experience of a World Cup winner with 43 caps for New Zealand while Isa was one of the stand-outs for Argentina in at the 2015 World Cup and in the Rugby Championship before his move to the Stade Mayol.

The new additions join six players who have already accepted invitations to join the squad.

Facundo Isa

Facundo Isa in action against the Barbarians in 2015

Bristol Bears are also providing provide New Zealand’s Steven Luatua and John Afoa with Samoa captain Chris Vui due to make his first appearance for the Baa-baas.

Already recruited from Toulon are New Zealand centre Malakai Fekitoa, Wales scrum half Rhys Webb and Fijian wing Filipo Nakosi although injury has forced Josua Tuisova to withdraw.

New Zealand’s Anna Richards coaches the unbeaten Barbarians women’s side against the Red Roses (12.45) and their experienced squad will be named next week.

Tickets to both matches are available from £20 for adults here