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Thursday 21 June 2018

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Injury forces Bundee Aki to miss Barbarians clash with England but Denis Buckley gets a call-up

Connacht's Bundee Aki
Connacht's Bundee Aki

Charles Piutau and Bundee Aki have been ruled out of the Barbarians' clash against England at Twickenham on Sunday.

New Zealand international Piutau suffered an Achilles tendon strain ahead of Ulster's European Champions Cup play-off victory over the Ospreys two days ago.

And Ireland centre Aki, who was due to captain the Baa-baas against England, is nursing an ankle injury.

The Barbarians also announced that Sale Sharks fly-half AJ MacGinty has been withdrawn from the squad by his club.

Baa-baas head coach Pat Lam has now finalised his group for the England encounter, adding five more players in Scotland fly-half Finn Russell, New Zealand centre Malakai Fekitoa, Newcastle and Fiji centre Josh Matavesi, his Falcons colleague - flanker Nili Latu - and Connacht prop Denis Buckley.

Lam said: "It's unfortunate that Charles Piutau strained an Achilles tendon warming up for Ulster on the weekend, Bundee Aki rolled an ankle in training in Galway and AJ MacGinty has been pulled out by his club.

"But it's great that we are able to call in some more quality players following the weekend's semi-finals. Finn Russell comes in from Glasgow, Malakai Fekitoa from Toulon and Josh Matavesi from Newcastle, and they will all add to the Barbarians way.

"I've worked with Denis Buckley at Connacht, and he is a powerful scrummager with a high work-rate around the pitch, while Nili Latu has just finished a superb spell at Newcastle and his destructive power and experience across the back-row will be a great asset for us."

The Barbarians starting line-up is due to be announced on Thursday.

Barbarians squad versus England: N Adeolokun (Connacht and Ireland), C Ashton (Toulon and England), M Fekitoa (Toulon and New Zealand), G Laidlaw (Clermont and Scotland), L McAlister (Toulon and New Zealand), J Matavesi (Newcastle and Fiji), S Radradra (Toulon), F Russell (Glasgow and Scotland), J Tuisova (Toulon), R Williams (Bristol and Wales), J Afoa (Gloucester and New Zealand), D Buckley (Connacht), U Dillane (Connacht and Ireland), J Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon and Argentina), R Herrera (Stade Francais and Argentina), B Kayser (Clermont and France), N Latu (Newcastle and Tonga), T Polota-Nau (Leicester and Australia), S Timani (Clermont and Australia), J Tipuric (Ospreys and Wales), L Uhila (Clermont), Flip van der Merwe (Clermont and South Africa), V Vito (La Rochelle and New Zealand).

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