Magners League vs Magners League at Thomond

Guinness PRO12 Editor

3 Jun 2010



As many of six Magners League players could go head-to-head with an entire squad of their Celtic colleagues at Thomond Park this Friday.

Half a dozen of the league’s most impressive players have been named in the Barbarians squad to take on Ireland at Thomond Park.

Munster full back Paul Warwick and flanker Alan Quinlan will start the match at their home ground, as will Cardiff Blues duo Casey Laulala and Xavier Rush and Leinster lock Malcolm O’Kelly.

Rush captains the world-famous invitational side from No8, while Blues team-mate Martyn Williams could feature from the replacements bench having started the 36-25 defeat to England on Saturday.

The match should provide a fitting swansong for O’Kelly, who played his final game for Leinster in Saturday’s Grand Final defeat to the Ospreys at the RDS.

Like O’Kelly, Munster’s Magners League Ambassador Quinlan will be facing the country he has represented with pride in 27 Test matches, as he prepares for an intriguing back-row battle with provincial team-mate Niall Ronan.

While the Barbarians have named six Magners League players in their squad, the Ireland matchday 22 consists entirely of Magners League stars.

The Ba Baas also include a host of big-name players based in France in their starting line up, with Cedric Heymans, Brock James, Pierre Mignoni, Census Johnston and Biarritz captain Jerome Thion all named in the starting XV.

Unrelated southern hemisphere stars George and David Smith are also included, as is Saracens’ in-form South African hooker Schalk Brits.

Former All Black skipper Rodney So’oialo and international team-mate Byron Kelleher are among a replacements bench that also features England prop Julian White and the retiring Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.

Barbarians vs Ireland, Thomond Park, Friday, 7.45pm

P Warwick, D Smith, C Lualala, S Rabeni, C Heymans, B James, P Mignoni, D Barnes, S Brits, C Johnston, J Thion, M O'Kelly, A Quinlan, G Smith, X Rush.

Replacements: B August, J White, R So'oialo, M Williams, B Kelleher, J-B Elissalde, F Estebanez or P Sackey