|Photo: Daily Mail Samu Manoa on the charge for Northampton|
The campaign to have Argentina host Rugby World Cup 2023 continues to gain strength. The only IRB identified region not to have hosted, or have been confirmed to host, a Rugby World Cup has yet again proven to be vital to global rugby as four players have been named in the starting lineup for the Barbarians to take on the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong on Saturday. Four of the starting fifteen players are from the Americas and are contracted to reputable English and French clubs.
The side will be led by Sergio Parisse of Stade Français and Italy. Soon to pass the 100 cap mark for Italy, Parisse has followed in the footsteps of his father by playing test rugby for Italy. His career began in the country of his birth, Argentina. Parisse is from the Argentine city of La Plata, the capitcal of Buenos Aires province. It is the same city that will play host to Argentina v New Zealand in the Rugby Championship later this year. Parisse moved to Italy with his family as a teenager.
Also from Argentina is Martín Castrogiovanni. The long serving Leicester Tigers and Italian international prop is from the Argentine city of Paraná, a city that hosted matches in the IRB Junior World Championship in 2010. The 31 year old Castrogiovanni has been playing for Italy since 2002 and, like Parisse, is expected to appear in a fourth Rugby World Cup come 2015. Castrogiovanni matches Parisse with 95 caps for Italy.
The USA will also be represented with Taku Ngwenya having been named on the left wing in a back-three combination which also includes former All Black Joe Rokocoko and the uncapped New Zealander Jared Payne who plays his rugby for Ulster. After the match Ngwenya will join the USA Eagles squad and is expected to face Ireland in Houston in June.
The Biarritz winger will likey be joined by Northampton Saints forward Samu Manoa. The Californian will start in the back-row with Parisse and London Wasps backrower Sam Jones. The form of Manoa in the Aviva Premiership means he is certain to be one of the Barbarians´ go to men in Hong Kong. His impressive season has seen him named in the starting lineup ahead of the 82 time capped French international Imanol Harinordoquy.
15 Jared Payne (Ulster)
14 Joe Rokocoko (Bayonne)
13 Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
12 Casey Laulala (Munster)
11 Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz)
10 Nick Evans (Harlequins)
9 Dimitri Yachvili (Biarriz)
8 Sergio Parisse (Stade Français)
7 Sam Jones (London Wasps)
6 Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
5 Dean Mumm (Exeter Chiefs)
4 Marco Wentzel (London Wasps)
3 Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers)
2 Schalk Brits (Saracens)
1 Paul James (Bath Rugby)
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Jim Hamilton, 19 Imanol Harinordoquy, 20 Andrea Lo Cicero, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 James Hook, 23 Mike Tindall.