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League’s top scorer earns Babaas call

Guinness PRO12 Editor

24 May 2011

The top try scorer in this year’s Magners League has been called into the Barbarians squad to face England this weekend.

Edinburgh wing Tim Visser scored 14 Magners League tries this season as he finished as the competition’s top scorer for the second year running.

Visser, who has now crossed for 24 tries in 38 Magners League appearances, was once again named in the Magners League Dream Team for 2011, 12 months after being crowned Young Player of the Year.

The 23-year-old will line up alongside the likes Sergio Parisse, George Smith, Carl Hayman and Matthieu Bastareaud at Twickenham this Sunday in what will be his first appearance for the world’s most famous invitational team.

"It's a fantastic privilege to be selected in the squad: you only have to look at the calibre of the names in the group to know how much of an honour this is," said Visser.

"It's really inspiring to think about the players who have worn that shirt and the great achievements they recorded in the game.

"When you're growing up and learning about the sport, playing for the Barbarians is one of the things you dream about, so to think it might actually happen this weekend is exciting beyond belief.

"I'd like to thank the players and coaches at Edinburgh who have made me feel so welcome over the last two years – the fact I feel so at home at the club and with how we play the game has been a big part of the good run of form I've enjoyed."

Visser isn’t the only Magners League star who could feature on Sunday. Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, Munster wing Doug Howlett, Aironi pair Salvatore Perugini and Quintin Geldenhuys, Scarlets prop Iestyn Thomas, Treviso hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini and Cardiff Blues duo Paul Tito and Martyn Williams are all included in a 26-man squad.

As well as providing nine players, the Magners League leads the way on the coaching team with Blues boss Dai Young and Ospreys counterpart Scott Johnson taking the reigns.

Full Barbarians squad

Backs: Benoit Baby (Clermont), Mathieu Bastareaud (Stade Francais), Doug Howlett (Munster), Brock James (Clermont), Nicolas Jeanjean (Brive), Willie Mason (Toulon), Frederic Michalak (Toulouse), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), Seru Rabini (La Rochelle), Paul Sackey (Toulon), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Castres Olympique), Tim Visser (Edinburgh)

Forwards: Sebastien Bruno (Toulon), Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), Carl Hayman (Toulon), Davit Kubriashvili (Toulon), Erik Lund (Biarritz), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais), Salvatore Perugini (Aironi), George Smith (Toulon), Iosefa Tekori (Castres Olympique), Iestyn Thomas (Scarlets), Paul Tito (Cardiff Blues), Joe van Niekerk (Toulon), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues)

Coaches: David Young (Cardiff Blues), Scott Johnson (Ospreys)

NB Bold denotes Magners League player or coach