Wales trio Jamie Roberts, Andy Powell and Leigh Halfpenny have been named in the Barbarians squad to play New Zealand at Twickenham on 5 December. Wallabies Matt Giteau and Rocky Elsom, plus Springboks Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez and Victor Matfield are also in.
Italy head coach Nick Mallett will take charge of the invitation side and will be assisted by Alan Solomons.
Matfield, Roberts and Halfpenny will be making their Baa-Baas debuts, while the 10 forwards in the squad include two members of Italy’s autumn international team, Salvatore Perugini and Carlo del Fava.
The pack will feature Springbok prop Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira and Australia’s most-capped forward, George Smith.
Barbarian president Micky Steele-Bodger said: (quote) Matches between the Barbarians and the All Blacks have always had a special resonance.
The classic game in 1973 remains an obvious memory for everyone and next month’s match will be the 10th fixture between us since we first met at Cardiff Arms Park in 1954. We are particularly pleased that several stars who have played for us before are returning to represent the club. We also appreciate the gesture by Cardiff Blues in allowing three of their Lions to accept invitations to play in what promises to be yet another mouth-watering match. (end quote)
Squad v New Zealand
Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Bryan Habana (South Africa), Joe Rokocoko (New Zealand), Drew Mitchell (Australia), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Jaque Fourie (South Africa), Morne Steyn (South Africa), Matt Giteau (Australia), Fourie du Preez (South Africa), Will Genia (Australia).
Forwards: Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), Stephen Moore (Australia), Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa), W P Nel (Free State Cheetahs), Salvatore Perugini (Italy), Victor Matfield (South Africa), Danie Rossouw (South Africa), Carlo del Fava (Italy), Rocky Elsom (Australia), Schalk Burger (South Africa), George Smith (Australia), Andy Powell (Wales).