The Barbarians announced today a very strong squad, including Gloucester prop Greg Somerville, that will prepare for their matches against England on May 30 at Twickenham Stadium and Australia on June 6 in Sydney.
Somerville, who played 66 Tests for New Zealand, joined Gloucester last Autumn and went on to make 13 appearances for the Cherry and Whites.
He will be joined in the squad by departing Gloucester wing, Iain Balshaw, who will join Biarritz in the summer.
Barbarians and Cardiff Blues Coach Dai Young said:
"I'm delighted with the squad that's been selected and I'm looking forward to working with them and London Irish Assistant Coach Mike Catt when we meet up on May 26."
"The squad is full of quality players, including a number of RWC, Tri-Nations and Grand Slam winners and I'm expecting them to give a very good account of themselves when they play England and Australia."
England Team Manager Martin Johnson said:
"The Barbarians squad that's been announced today is full of international experience and they will provide England with a very tough game on May 30 before we go onto play Argentina in a two test series."
"The Barbarians match is one we're all looking forward to and I will be announcing a strong England squad on May 19 for all three games."
The Barbarians Captain will be named once the squad meet up on May 26.
Tickets for the England v Barbarians match on Saturday May 30 (kick off 4.15pm) are priced from £25 for adults and £10 for U16s and are available now by calling ticketmaster on 0844 847 2492 or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Iain Balshaw (Gloucester Rugby and England)
Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues & New Zealand)
Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster and Ireland)
Peter Grant (Stormers and South Africa)
Doug Howlett (Munster & New Zealand)
Josh Lewsey (London Wasps and England)
Seilala Mapusua (London Irish & Samoa)
Justin Marshall (Saracens and New Zealand)
Luke McAllister (Sale Sharks and New Zealand)
Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers & Ireland)
Sonny Bill Williams (Toulon)
Dimitri Yachvilli (Biarritz Olympique & France)
Serge Betsen (London Wasps & France)
B J Botha (Ulster & South Africa)
Schalk Brits (Stormers and South Africa)
Sebastien Bruno (Sale Sharks & France)
Jerry Collins (Toulon & New Zealand)
Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers & England)
Rocky Elsom (Leinster & Australia)
Justin Harrison (Bath Rugby & Australia)
Chris Jack (Saracens & New Zealand)
Greg Somerville (Gloucester Rugby & New Zealand)
Iestyn Thomas (Scarlets & Wales)
Paul Tito (Cardiff Blues)
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.