Parisse leads Baabaas against British & Irish Lions

Barbarians head coach Dai Young has named Italy number eight Sergio Parisse as captain of his team to face the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong.

Young has looked to beef up the side who lost 40-12 to England on Sunday with the inclusion of Parisse, fellow Italian stalwart and tighthead prop Martin Castrogiovanni, and All Blacks wing Joe Rokocoko in the starting team.

The 37-man Lions party contains 15 Welshmen but prop Paul James is the only starter from the principality for the Barbarians and could face the prospect of packing down against his national front-row team-mate Adam Jones.

Parisse takes over the armband from former England skipper Mike Tindall, who was named among the replacements for Saturday’s game at Hong Kong Stadium, the first match in Asia in the Lions’ 125-year history.

The match will be the second time the Lions have played the Barbarians, with
the iconic sides having clashed in 1977 as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee
celebrations. The Lions won that match 23-14.

The Barbarians are led by Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young who said he expected
a much stronger performance this weekend.

“We all felt a little bit let down last weekend. We didn’t play
anything like how we expected to play and we know we have to be a lot better.
The preparation has been a lot better for this game and the players themselves
realised that they have to step up this week.”

The combined British and Irish team are opening their 10-match tour in Hong Kong before flying to Australia, where they will face the Wallabies in three Tests in Brisbane on June 22, Melbourne on June 29 and Sydney on July 6.

Barbarians

Jared Payne (Ulster/NZL); Joe Rokocoko (Bayonne/NZL), Elliot Daly (London Wasps/ENG), Casey Laulala (Munster/NZL), Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz Olympique/USA); Nick Evans (Harlequins/NZL), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique/FRA); Sergio Parisse (capt, Stade Francais/ITA), Sam Jones (London Wasps/ENG), Samu Manoa (Northampton/USA); Dean Mumm (Exeter Chiefs/AUS), Marco Wentzel (London Wasps/RSA); Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester/ITA), Schalk Brits (Saracens/RSA), Paul James (Bath/WAL)

Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso/ITA), Duncan Jones (Ospreys/WAL), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing Metro 92/ITA), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester/SCO), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz Olympique/FRA), Kahn Fotuali’i (Ospreys/SAM), James Hook (Perpignan/WAL), Mike Tindall (Gloucester/ENG)

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