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Kirwan calls up All Blacks for Barbarians

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The Barbarians have added All Blacks trio Adam Thomson, Francis Saili and Frank Halai to the squad for the autumn, including the match at Welford Road on Tuesday, November 4..

World Cup-winning flanker Thomson is joined by Blues centre Saili and giant Blues wing Halai in the squad for the Killik Cup match against Australia and the game against Leicester Tigers.
Head coach Sir 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.
The veteran Samoa international Mo Schwalger (Chiefs) and the Blues’ James Parsons have been added to his list of forwards for the tour.
The Barbarians have already 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 says he intends to add young players chasing Test call-ups, and Saili and Nanai-Williams have both impressed for their Super Rugby sides this year.
The 6ft 5in Halai, capped by New Zealand in 2013, and 6ft 3in Osborne are powerful wings and join Nick ‘the Honey Badger’ Cummins in Kirwan’s backline options.
"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!"
The Barbarians return to Welford Road on November 4 as part of the invitational team’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
Tickets are available now at the Tigers ticket office, prices from £23 adults, £11 juniors. Buy in person at the Welford Road ticket office, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or click here to book online.