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Fabien Galthie vows to uphold Barbarians' heritage against Eddie's England

By PA
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

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Head coach Fabien Galthie has promised to uphold the Barbarians’ “precious heritage” as he named his squad for Sunday’s showpiece against England at Twickenham.

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Galthie, who led France to a first Six Nations Grand Slam in 12 years in March, will blend youth and experience in a 24-man squad dominated by French players and led by Les Bleus skipper Charles Ollivon.

Galthie, who will announce his match-day line-up on Friday, said: “It is an honour to be called upon to select and coach the Barbarians, an institution with strong values rooted in the history of our sport.

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“We will share with the selected players this precious heritage: an attacking, adventurous, ambitious way to play that is the mark of the BaaBaas.

“We have already planned to study together some historic moments, such as Gareth Edwards’ try in 1973 against the All Blacks.

“This BaaBaas mindset remains a fertile ground for expression of talent, we will be keen to succeed in our mission and give all the fans a great moment of rugby.”

Captain Ollivon is joined by Toulon team-mates Louis Carbonel, Jean-Baptiste Gros and Christopher Tolofua.

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International stars include former England and Saracens lock George Kruis, who will return to Twickenham to play his final match, and fellow second-row, Australian Will Skelton.

South Africa prop Trevor Nyakane, Georgia and Lyon winger David Niniashvili and Fiji forward Levani Botia are also included.

Botia and Skelton were part of La Rochelle’s Heineken Champions Cup-winning squad, alongside Pierre Bourgarit, Thomas Lavault and Danny Priso.

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Full squad – Levani Botia (Fiji, La Rochelle), Pierre Bourgarit (France, La Rochelle), Louis Carbonel (France, Toulon), Batiste Couilloud (France, Lyon), Dylan Cretin (France, Lyon), Jean-Baptiste Gros (France, Toulon), Sipili Falatea (France, Clermont), Antoine Hastoy (France, Pau), George Kruis (England, Panasonic Wild Knights), Thomas Laclayat (Oyonnax), Thomas Lavault (La Rochelle), Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 92), Sekou Macalou (France, Stade Francais), Davit Niniashvili (Georgia, Lyon), Trevor Nyakane (South Africa, Racing 92), Charles Ollivon (France, Toulon), Damien Penaud (France, Clermont), Danny Priso (France, La Rochelle), Will Skelton (Australia, La Rochelle), Max Spring (France, Racing 92), Yoan Tanga (France, Racing 92), Christopher Tolofua (France, Toulon), Virimi Vakatawa (France, Racing 92), Tani Vili (France, Clermont).

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