Sergio Parisse to captain strong Barbarians side for clash in Hong Kong

by Staff Writer

The inspirational No 8 will lead an iconic invitational side stacked with internationals, headlined by former All Blacks winger Joe Rokocoko and fly-half Nick Evans.

Coach Dai Young, three times a Lions tourist and a series winner in Australia '89 and South Africa '97, has selected Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni in the front row along with Wales loosehead Paul James.

Former Lions utility back James Hook, who had held out slim hopes of making the party for the tour of Australia, is named on the Barbarians bench.

Former England centre Mike Tindall, who missed the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand because of injury, is also on the bench, while former Wallabies lock Dean Mumm will be out to strike an early blow or two for Australia.

"I played two years ago for the Baa-baas and it is a big honour to be back again," Parisse said.

"For any player, especially from Italy, it is a great opportunity and I know we have enough talent and skill among this group of players to put the Lions under pressure."

Saracens hooker Schalk Brits is also named to play against Warren Gatland's side, four years after he missed an opportunity to play the Lions in his native South Africa.

"The year I joined Sarries in 2009 was the year that the Lions toured South Africa so hopefully now I'll have that chance to play against them," he said, before adding that he hopes to be facing club colleagues Mako Vunipola and Matt Stevens in the front row on Saturday.

"Hopefully they'll give me an easy ride but, let's be honest, I don't think that will happen!"

The Barbarians, who traditionally name an uncapped player, have selected three for the match at Hong Kong Stadium, with Ulster's Jared Payne at full-back behind centre Elliot Daly and his Wasps team-mate, Sam Jones, at openside flanker.

Young did not include Hong Kong's Rowan Varty in his 23-man match day squad after he played in the Barbarians 40-12 loss to England at Twickenham last Saturday.

Barbarians XV: Jared Payne (Ulster), Joe Rokocoko (Bayonne), Elliot Daly (London Wasps), Casey Laulala (Munster), Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz), Nick Evans (Harlequins), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais), Sam Jones (London Wasps), Samu Manoa (Northampton), Dean Mumm (Exeter Chiefs), Marco Wentzel (London Wasps), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester), Schalk Brits (Saracens), Paul James (Bath).

Replacements: Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), Kahn Fotuali'i (Northampton), James Hook (Perpignan), Mike Tindall (Gloucester).

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