Ruan Pienaar and Ugo Monye named in 30-man Barbarians squad
South African scrum-half and former England winger added to all-star cast to take on Ireland and England this week
Barbarians head coach Robbie Deans has added South Africa’s Ruan Pienaar for this week’s matches against Ireland and England.
The Ulster scrum-half became available after the Irish province suffered a dramatic 16-14 defeat to Glasgow Warriors in the Guinness PRO12 semi-finals last weekend.
It’s always a real honour to play for the Barbarians and to be able to do so at the end of my career will be something very special.
The 80-times capped international is the fourth Ireland-based player to make the 30-man squad along with compatriot Zane Kirchner, who is joined by his Leinster team-mates Jimmy Gopperth and Shane Jennings.
Other high-profile names to accept invitations for the matches in Limerick and London include former England international winger Ugo Monye, and former All Blacks forwards Brad Thorn and Jason Eaton.
Monye, like Rugby World Cup-winning lock Thorn and Ireland flanker Jennings, will be playing for the last time before retiring this summer, and the Harlequins man is looking to go out on a high as the Barbarians celebrate their 125th anniversary.
“It’s always a real honour to play for the Barbarians and to be able to do so at the end of my career will be something very special,” Monye said.
“I want to go out on a high and my goal is to help this great club add to its list of victories against Ireland and England.”
Deans, a former Australia head coach who also coaches the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan, has included three of his club players in the squad in the exciting shape of former All Black George Whitelock and Japanese internationals Ryu Koliniasi Holani and Yoshikazu Fujita.
Invitations were also accepted by a number of other star names including Lyon and Australia forward George Smith, Bayonne and former New Zealand back Joe Rokocoko, and Cardiff Blues, Wales and British and Irish Lions duo Alex Cuthbert and Adam Jones.
After missing out on a place in England’s Rugby World Cup training squad, Thomas Waldrom – the Aviva Premiership top try-scorer this season – had also been confirmed, while Harlequins hooker David Ward also accepted an invitation.
One of the proudest and most exciting times of my career being involved with 1 of the most prestigious teams in the world @Barbarian_FC
— Dave Ward (@Dave_Ward2) May 24, 2015
The Barbarians will take on Ireland at Thomond Park in Limerick on Thursday before heading to Twickenham to take on an England XV on Sunday.
Barbarians squad (30):
Forwards (17): Matías Díaz (Pampas/Argentina), Jason Eaton (La Rochelle/New Zealand), Deon Fourie (Lyon), Shane Jennings (Leinster/Ireland), Pablo Matera (Pampas/Argentina), Konstantin Mikautadze (Toulon/Georgia), Ryu Koliniasi Holani (Panasonic Wild Knights/Japan), Adam Jones (Cardiff Blues/Wales), Rodrigo Capó Ortega (Castres/Uruguay), George Smith (Lyon/Australia), Saimone Taumoepeau (Castres/New Zealand), Rodrigo Tejerizo (Tucumán/Argentina), Brad Thorn (Leicester Tigers/New Zealand), Gerhard Vosloo (Toulon), David Ward (Harlequins), Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs/England), George Whitelock (Panasonic Wild Knights/New Zealand).
Backs (13): Gio Aplon (Grenoble/South Africa), Stephen Brett (Lyon), Tomás Cubelli (Belgrano Ath/Argentina), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues/Wales), Yoshikazu Fujita (Panasonic Wild Knights/Japan), Jimmy Gopperth (Leinster), Zane Kirchner (Leinster/South Africa), Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England), Wynand Olivier (Montpellier/South Africa), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster/South Africa), Tusi Pisi (Suntory Sungoliath/Samoa), Joe Rokocoko (Bayonne/New Zealand), David Smith (Toulon).