George Smith named in BaaBaas squad

With the door open to possible rugby World Cup inclusion, Wallabies legend George Smith is set to play at Twickenham this weekend for the Barbarians.

The 111-Test flanker was on Sunday the only Australian named in a 30-man Barbarians squad to face Ireland in Limerick on Thursday and an England XV at Twickenham three days later.

After the ARU changed eligibility rules recently, Smith – who is currently contracted to French club Lyon – is now available to resume his Test career as early as July.

Australia will battle England and Wales in crucial World Cup pool matches at Twickenham in London in October.

Also in the Barbarians squad is retiring former All Blacks lock Brad Thorn.

The 40-year-old played his last competition game for Leicester last weekend when they lost an English Premiership semi-final to Bath.

In possibly his last playing role before taking up a coaching role with the Queensland Reds, Thorn accepted an approach from Barbarians coach Robbie Deans – his former coach at the Crusaders – to play for the invitation team.

The former Australian rugby league international joins another five former All Blacks in the squad – outside backs Joe Rokocoko and Rene Ranger, flanker George Whitelock, lock Jason Eaton and prop Saimone Taumoepeau.

South Africans Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, Gio Aplon and Zane Kirchner are also in the BaaBaas squad.

Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has been given the job of Barbarians coach.

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