London Irish’s double World Cup-winning All Black Ben Franks has been named in the Barbarians’ 27-man squad for games against England and Ulster on 28 May and 1 June respectively.
Franks, 33, who has been a mainstay of the Exiles’ pack this campaign, is part of a squad that has more than 1,000 international caps between them.
The Baa-baas face England at Twickenham for the 16th time since 1990, having won seven and lost eight overall. They take on Ulster for the first time since 1957. The men in black and white enjoyed a successful trip to Belfast last November where they defeated Fiji 40-7.
Exiles’ Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy said: “To be called up to the Barbarians squad is a highlight of any rugby player’s career and we are delighted that Ben has the honour of representing the prestigious international team.
“Ben has had a fantastic career both in club rugby and on the international stage and I’m sure he will relish the opportunity of pulling on the Barbarians jersey.”
Backs: Horacio Agulla (Castres & Argentina), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Bordeaux Begles & Australia), Yann David (Toulouse and France), Kahn Fotuali’i (Bath Rugby & Samoa), Robbie Freuan (Bath Rugby), Rory Kockott (Castres & France), Ian Madigan (Bordeaux Begles & Ireland), Timoci Nagusa (Montpellier & Fiji), Waisea Nayacalavu (Stade Francais & Fiji), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster & South Africa), David Smith (Castres), Frans Steyn (Montpellier & South Africa)
Forwards: Patricio Albacete (Toulouse & Argentina), Steffon Armitage (Pau & England), Schalk Brits (Saracens & South Africa), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse & France), Corey Flynn (Star RFC & New Zealand), Ben Franks (London Irish & New Zealand), Gillian Galan (Toulouse), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester & Wales), Facundo Isa (Lyon & Argentina), Census Johnston (Toulouse & Samoa), Mikheil Nariashvili (Montpellier & Georgia), WP Nel (Edinburgh & Scotland), Mike Ross (Leinster & Ireland), Joe Tekori (Toulouse & Samoa), Jeremy Thrush (Gloucester & New Zealand)