Players from around the world have accepted invitations for the Barbarians' 2010 summer tour that begins with the MasterCard Trophy match against England at Twickenham on Sunday 30 May and continues the following Friday, 4 June, with another MasterCard Trophy match against Ireland at Thomond Park, Limerick.
In a particularly strong back-row, Wallabies' record cap-holder George Smith is flying over to join another world-class flanker Martyn Williams, Ireland's Alan Quinlan, and Cardiff Blues' talismanic New Zealand number 8, Xavier Rush.
All Blacks' scrum-half Byron Kelleher teams up with his Toulouse club mate Jean-Baptiste Ellisalde at half-back, where Australian fly-half Brock James will also be joining the squad.
Elsewhere in the pack, Argentina's Rodrigo Roncero, Springbok Jannie du Plessis and David Barnes provide formidable selection options in the front row.
The prominent French flavour includes Cedric Haymans and Florian Fritz behind the scrum and Jerome Thion and Toulon's Sebastien Bruno in the forwards, while England's Paul Sackey and Fijian flyer Napolioni Nalaga provide further pace and power on the wings.
Barbarians' president Micky Steele-Bodger said, "It is one of the delights of our tours that so many players from so many different backgrounds readily accept our invitations to return or, indeed, make their first appearances for the Barbarians.
"We have a particularly tough tour this year with both England and Ireland likely to be at full strength ahead of their own test matches in the southern hemisphere.We are confident that we will again meet the challenge in the best spirit and traditions of the Barbarians."
The Barbarians' squad will be coached by Philippe Saint-Andre, assisted by Kingsley Jones. Both were proud Barbarians in their playing days and have worked successfully together in recent years as coaches with Sale Sharks. They have seized the opportunity to be re-united as Barbarians coaches.
Philippe Saint-Andre, now the director of rugby at Toulon, played three times for the Barbarians in the 1990s, including the 1994 match against South Africa when he was a try-scorer in the famous 23-15 victory for the club. Kingsley Jones represented the Barbarians twice on the 2000 summer tour.
Cardiff Blues travel to Myreside on Friday to take on Edinburgh Rugby in a crucial Guinness PRO12 clash, and with Wales facing Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, it promises to be a weekend of non-stop rugby action at the Scottish capital. Here are some useful advice to Cardiff Blues travelling supporters.
To celebrate the opening of the newly refurbished Guinness PRO12 Pack Bar, the world famous Irish brewer will be offering supporters free pints of the black stuff ahead of Saturday's clash with Ulster.
'TACKLE' - the first-ever joint community rugby initiative between the four professional teams in Wales has been launched (today Weds 19th October) bringing an inspiring new rugby education programme to young people in Communities First areas. Partners in the project were joined by Wales' star rugby internationals Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets) and Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), for the launch at Aberdare Community School.
The Welsh Rugby Union, together with Pro Rugby Wales, has secured significantly improved insurance cover for all registered players, coaches and referees at each of its member clubs and regions at reduced costs -working with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisors.