There will be a distinct Kiwi presence on the team sheet as the Barbarians squad to face England at Twickenham at the end of the month was revealed.
Former All Blacks Charles Piutau, Victor Vito, Luke McAlister and John Afoa join former Chief and current Ireland international Bundee Aki along with former Waikato and Hurricanes prop Loni Uhila in the side.
The team will be coached by former Blues head man Pat Lam.
Lam expressed his gratitude towards Joe Schmidt for allowing the inclusion of Aki, who has been in Ireland with Connacht since 2014.
“I’d like to thank Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt for making Bundee [Aki] available to us as he’ll be a big asset for the Barbarians,” said Bristol head coach Lam.
“The big thing about Bundee is that he’s an unbelievable competitor. A lot of the Pacific Island boys have that X-factor but he loves putting his head in the dark places and thriving in turnover and contact work.
“He’s a huge leader on the field and he has a great understanding and passion for the way I like the team to play. England is a game we’re going to have to work hard in and he epitomises what we need to do. We need the courage to play and move the ball and also to know when we have to tighten things up, and he’ll be at the centre of that.”
Aki is set to captain the side when they take on England on May 27.
Forwards: Ramiro Herrera (Argentina), John Afoa (New Zealand), Loni Uhila (Tonga), Benjamin Kayser (France), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Australia), Ultane Dillane (Ireland), Flip van der Merwe (South Africa), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Victor Vito (New Zealand), Sitaleki Timani (Australia).
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