Scotland fly-half Finn Russell has been added to the Barbarians squad for Sunday’s clash with England at Twickenham after a handful of players pulled out.
Russell, who joins fellow Scot Greig Laidlaw in the squad, has been brought in by Baa-Baas head coach Pat Lam, along with New Zealand centre Malakai Fekitoa, Fiji and Newcastle centre Josh Matavesi, Falcons flanker Nili Latu and Connacht prop Denis Buckley after Bundee Aki, Charles Piutau and AJ MacGinty all withdrew from the squad.
New Zealand international Piutau suffered an Achilles tendon strain ahead of Ulster’s European Champions Cup play-off win over Ospreys last weekend while Ireland centre Aki, who had been due to skipper Barbarians, is sidelined with an ankle complaint.
Lam said: “It’s unfortunate that Piutau strained an Achilles tendon warming up for Ulster on the weekend, Aki rolled an ankle in training in Galway and MacGinty has been pulled out by his club.
“But it’s great that we are 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 will all add to the Barbarians way.
“I’ve worked with Denis Buckley at Connacht, and he is 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.”
The Barbarians starting line-up will be announced on Thursday.
Barbarians squad versus England: N Adeolokun (Connacht and Ireland), C Ashton (Toulon and England), M Fekitoa (Toulon and New Zealand), G Laidlaw (Clermont and Scotland), L McAlister (Toulon and New Zealand), J Matavesi (Newcastle and Fiji), S Radradra (Toulon), F Russell (Glasgow and Scotland), J Tuisova (Toulon), R Williams (Bristol and Wales), J Afoa (Gloucester and New Zealand), D Buckley (Connacht), U Dillane (Connacht and Ireland), J Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon and Argentina), R Herrera (Stade Francais and Argentina), B Kayser (Clermont and France), N Latu (Newcastle and Tonga), T Polota-Nau (Leicester and Australia), S Timani (Clermont and Australia), J Tipuric (Ospreys and Wales), L Uhila (Clermont), Flip van der Merwe (Clermont and South Africa), V Vito (La Rochelle and New Zealand).