Mason set for rugby debut with Barbarians

by staff

Willie Mason is set to make his rugby union debut on Sunday after being included in the Barbarians' squad for their clash with England.

The former Australian rugby league international made six appearances for Hull KR before his failure to obtain a Tongan passport led to him being de-registered.

The 31-year-old forward has since agreed to join French club Toulon for 2011-12 and is on course to make his cross code debut at Twickenham.

His earliest opportunity to feature will be against England, but the Barbarians also face Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday week.

Alongside Mason, the latest additions to the squad include Edinburgh wing Tim Visser and Samoa international Iosefa Tekori.

The squad is comprised of 12 different nationalities with Georgia's Davit Kubriashvili and Erik Lund of Norway adding to the list.

Former New Zealand winger Doug Howlett and Clermont-Auvergne's Australian fly-half Brock James will join the squad in Cardiff for the second leg of the tour.

Italy stars Sergio Parisse and Leonardo Ghiraldini and France fly-half Frederic Michalak make their Barbarians debuts with David Young and Scott Johnson coaching the squad.

Barbarians Squad

Backs: Benoit Baby (Clermont Auvergne), Mathieu Bastareaud (Stade Francais), Doug Howlett (Munster), Brock James (Clermont Auvergne), Nicolas Jeanjean (Brive), Willie Mason (Toulon), Frederic Michalak (Toulouse), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), Seru Rabini (La Rochelle), Paul Sackey (Toulon), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Castres), Tim Visser (Edinburgh).

Forwards: Sebastien Bruno (Toulon), Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Carl Hayman (Toulon), Davit Kubriashvili (Toulon), Erik Lund (Biarritz), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais), Salvatore Perugini (Aironi), George Smith (Toulon), Iosefa Tekori (Castres), Iestyn Thomas (Scarlets), Paul Tito (Cardiff), Joe van Niekerk (Toulon), Martyn Williams (Cardiff).