HEAD Coach Pat Lam has finalised his Barbarians squad by adding a final five players to the group taking on England in the Quilter Cup at Twickenham on Sunday, May 27.
Scotland fly half Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), World Cup winning centre Malakai Fekitoa (Toulon and New Zealand) and Newcastle Falcons and Fiji all-rounder Josh Matavesi come into a star-studded back division.
Newcastle Falcons flanker Nili Latu joins the forwards along with uncapped Connacht loose head Denis Buckley.
Following fitness tests yesterday, Bundee Aki (Connacht & Ireland) and Charles Piutau (Ulster & New Zealand) will both miss the game while Sale Sharks fly half AJ MacGinty has been withdrawn.
The Barbarians will field possibly the most cosmopolitan side in their 118-year history against England. Twelve different nationalities are involved with New Zealand (4), Ireland (3) and Fiji (3) providing the largest contingents.
Lam said: “It’s unfortunate that Charles Piutau strained an achilles tendon warming up for Ulster on the weekend, Bundee Aki rolled an ankle in training in Galway and AJ MacGinty has been pulled out by his club.
“But it’s great that we’re able to call in some more quality players following the weekend’s semi-finals. Finn Russell comes in from Glasgow, Malakai Fekitoa from Toulon and Josh Matavesi from Newcastle, and they’ll all add to the Barbarians way.
“I’ve worked with Denis Buckley at Connacht and he’s a powerful scrummager with a high work rate around the pitch while Nili Latu has just finished a superb spell at Newcastle and his destructive power and experience across the back row will be a great asset for us.”