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)
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.