Barbarians call up All Blacks Thomson, Saili and Halai

The Barbarians have added All Blacks Adam Thomson, Francis Saili and Frank Halai to the squad facing Australia at Twickenham next month.


The 2011 World Cup winning flanker Thomson – who will play for Queensland Reds in Super Rugby next year – is joined by exciting Blues centre Saili and giant Blues wing Halai in the squad for the Killik Cup match on November 1 and the game against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on November 4.

Head coach John Kirwan has also called up young full back Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs) and wing Patrick Osborne (Highlanders) as well as the Highlanders’ Japanese international scrum half Fumiaki Tanaka.

Added to the forwards are two hookers in the shape of veteran Samoa international Mo Schwalger (Chiefs) and the Blues’ James Parsons.

Earlier this month the Barbarians confirmed the recruitment of Australia wing Nick Cummins and seven South Africa based players in props Matt Stevens, CJ Van der Linde, Coenie Oosthuizen and Thomas du Toit, and back rowers Michael Rhodes, Jacques Botes and Heinrich Brussow.

Blues’ coach Kirwan had stated his intention to add young players chasing Test call-ups, and Saili and Nanai-Williams are both backs who have impressed for their respective franchises this year.

The 6ft 5in Halai – capped by New Zealand in 2013 – and 6ft 3in Osborne also fit the bill as powerful wings who will take the game to the Wallabies along with Nick ‘the Honey Badger’ Cummins, who has a cult of his own following among his Australian fans.

“Big Frank Halai is a real excitement machine and it’s the same with Francis Saili – the wings are bigger than the locks,” said Kirwan. “We’ve also got Nick Cummins operating in a roving role out wide. The Badge can do what he wants!”

More than 50,000 tickets have already been sold for the Barbarians v Australia match for the Killik Cup on November 1 (2.30pm). Tickets are still available from £30 for adults and £15 for juniors (U16) at or by calling 0844 847 2492.

Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images