RUGBY: Big name stars revealed for Barbarians squad ahead of Belfast visit in June

New Zealand's  Corey Flynn
New Zealand's Corey Flynn

Head coach Vern Cotter has named the first group of players selected by the Barbarians for the summer tour against Ulster and England.

The Barbarians will take on Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Thursday 1st June (7.30pm), as well as facing England at Twickenham on Sunday 28th May.

Census Johnston

Census Johnston

Cotter has called up Adam Ashley-Cooper (Australia), Will Genia (Australia), Facundo Isa (Argentina) and Census Johnston (Samoa), who bring a wealth of Test experience with them and those four France-based players will be joined by Corey Flynn (New Zealand) and Connacht’s Bundee Aki.

Wing Ashley-Cooper (116 caps) and scrum half Genia (75 caps) were World Cup finalists in London in 2015, back row forward Isa was one of the stand-out stars of last year’s Rugby Championship and prop Johnston has appeared in three World Cups for Samoa.

Veteran hooker Flynn will join the tour squad from Glasgow Warriors along with Connacht centre Aki, who picked up the 2015/16 Guinness PRO12 player of the year.

“The Barbarians is all about bringing together talented players from different countries and you can see from the first group of players selected that we’ve been able to do exactly that,” said Cotter.

Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper

Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper

“We want to compete hard and to entertain in the best traditions of the club, so I’m looking forward to working towards that goal with all the players we’ll have on board when we meet up next month.”

The clash between Ulster and the Barbarians will be the first time the sides have met since 1957, but the Baabaas enjoyed a successful visit to Belfast last November when they beat Fiji 40-7 at Kingspan Stadium.

Tickets for Ulster v Barbarians, priced from £20 for adults and £12 for juniors, are on general sale now at ulsterrugby.com/buytickets

For group offers and hospitality packages call (028) 9049 3222.

Australia's Will Genia

Australia's Will Genia