Parisse among Barbarians call-ups
The Barbarians have announced their first five world-class recruits to face the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong on June 1.
The stellar cast list includes Italy captain Sergio Parisse, the Azzurri tighthead prop Martin Castrogiovanni and French number eight Imanol Harinordoquy.
The Lions will also face Samoan scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i, one of the hottest properties in world rugby at present, and South African centre Jaque Fourie.
The Barbarians first face England at Twickenham on May 26 before heading to Hong Kong for the opening fixture of the Lions' 10-match tour.
The squad will be coached by Wasps director of rugby Dai Young.
Barbarians team manager Derek Quinnell said: "It is a great honour to play the Lions as well as England, and we are very conscious of the need to invite the strongest possible squad to do justice to two great fixtures.
"As the weeks go by and national squads are selected and domestic cup and league competitions reach their final stages, we are monitoring who will be available to us.
"We then decide on the best balance of our squad in all positions and will make further announcements in due course."