London Irish lock Api Ratuniyarawa gets World XV call for Barbarians showdown
London Irish lock Api Ratuniyarawa is expected to feature for the World XV against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday, May 28.
The Fiji lock helped Irish to their highest Premiership finish since 2009 as the Exiles narrowly missed out on the play-offs by finishing fifth.
And now the 36-year-old is gearing up to bolster the World XV's ranks, having been identified by coach Steve Hansen for the star-studded affair in west London.
Two-time World Cup-winning All Blacks coach Hansen will direct operations for a stacked World XV squad, and will go up against a Barbarians side led by Eddie Jones.
Hansen and Jones are itching to lock horns again, with Jones having stayed committed to the fixture despite taking up a second stint as Australia boss ahead of the autumn's World Cup.
Former England boss Jones can expect to call on the likes of ex-All Blacks flanker Steven Luatua and Wales trio Alun Wyn Jones, Rhys Webb and Taulupe Faletau.
Ratuniyarawa will rub shoulders with London Irish team-mate Danilo Fischetti in the World XV ranks, while superstars like Charles Piutau, Ngani Laumape and Semi Radradra are all on board for Hansen's men.
“I'm just really looking forward to working with such a talented group of players," said Hansen. “It's a game that's going to be played in the right manner.
“Traditionally, you want a Barbarians game to be open and flowing, and a World XV game is the same. This event gets you a combination of both those teams – and both coaches will treat it with the respect that it deserves.
“Whilst both sides will have a little bit of fun during the week, come Sunday they’ll have the freedom to express themselves and pour it out on the park.
“I’m sure we’ll see a wonderfully high-skilled spectacle that hopefully people will come along and really, really enjoy.”
General admission tickets for the blockbuster Barbarian F.C. vs World XV clash are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians at the early-bird price of just £25* for Adults and £15* for Under-16s.