Former All Blacks get shot at British Lions

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 08:34 08/05/2013
Joe Rokocokc
PETER MEECHAM/Fairfax NZ
SHOT AT LIONS: Former All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Nick Evans head a New Zealand quartet who get the rare chance to play the British & Irish Lions.

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Former All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Nick Evans head a New Zealand quartet who get the rare chance to play the British & Irish Lions.

They are joined by Jared Payne and Kahn Fotuali'i in a powerful British Barbarians squad.

The Barbarians will play England at Twickenham on May 26 before heading to Hong Kong to tackle the Lions in the famous team’s tour-opener on June 1 before Warren Gatland’s Lions move on to their tour of Australia.

Many of the Barbarians squad are British player not wanted by the Lions but they have been boosted by some international stars.

The New Zealanders will be part of a potent Baabaas backline with Fotuali'i, the formers Crusaders halfback who has become a strong test player with Samoa, set to pair with Evans in the halves.

Star All Blacks wing Rokocoko will link with Payne, the former Crusaders and Blues utility.

The four now ply their trade in Europe with Payne at Irish outfit Ulster, Rokocoko at French club Bayonne, Evans at glamour English club Harlequins and Fotuali'i in Wales with Ospreys.

Barbarians manager Derek Quinnell said he was delighted with the quality of players he had so far managed to obtain for his team: 

"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," Quinnell said.

Barbarians squad:

Forwards: 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)

Backs: 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).

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