29 Apr 2015

Several NZers in Baabaa's rugby side

6:28 am on 29 April 2015

The New Zealand rugby players Joe Rokocoko and Rene Ranger and former Blues and Hurricanes back David Smith will play for the Barbarians against Ireland and England next month.

Rene Ranger playing for French side Montpellier.

Rene Ranger playing for French side Montpellier. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Smith, Rokocoko and Ranger were confirmed as the latest players who have accepted invitations to join Robbie Deans' squad for games against Ireland at Thomond Park on May 28th and an England XV at Twickenham on May 31st.

The Barbarians celebrate their 125th anniversary this year and former Australia head coach Deans is assembling a group that will maintain the attacking traditions of the world famous invitation side.

Deans says as a coach, the chance to combine the attacking talents of players like David Smith, Joe Rokocoko and Rene Ranger in one team is an exciting opportunity.

Smith, who leaves double European Champions Cup winners Toulon at the end of this season, is the leading scorer in France's Top 14 this season with 13 tries in 14 appearances.

He is back in a Barbarians shirt for the first time since 2010 when he made his debut at Thomond Park in the 29-23 win against Ireland and scored in the 35-26 defeat against England.

Rokocoko has played for the Barbarians six times, while Ranger debuted for the Baabaas last season.

Australia fly-half Berrick Barnes, Argentina scrum-half Tomas Cubelli and New Zealand's George Whitelock were confirmed as members of the squad earlier this year and significant international names will be added in the coming weeks.

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