Ireland centre Bundee Aki to captain Barbarians against England

Bundee Aki helped Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam against England at Twickenham in March. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ireland centre Bundee Aki will captain the Barbarians when they take on England at Twickenham on May 27.

Aki will link up with his former Connacht coach Pat Lam, who is taking charge of the invitational squad in London, and lead a squad that includes John Afoa, Greig Laidlaw, Charles Piutau, Justin Tipuric and Victor Vito.

"I'd like to thank Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt for making Bundee Aki available to us as he'll be a big asset for the Barbarians," Bristol head coach Lam said.

"The big thing about Bundee is that he's an unbelievable competitor. A lot of the Pacific Island boys have that X-factor but he loves putting his head in the dark places and thriving in turnover and contact work.

"He's a huge leader on the field and he has a great understanding and passion for the way I like the team to play.

"England is a game we're going to have to work hard in and he epitomises what we need to do. We need the courage to play and move the ball and also to know when we have to tighten things up, and he'll be at the centre of that."

Lam brought Aki to Connacht from the Chiefs in 2014, and the centre has gone on to earn seven caps, and win a Grand Slam, for Ireland since qualifying for his adopted nation on residency last year.

His last trip to Twickenham was in March and ended in a 24-15 victory for Ireland that confirmed their Six Nations clean sweep.

Barbarians squad to face England (more names to be announced):

Backs: N. Adeolokun, B. Aki (captain) (both Connacht), G. Laidlaw (Clermont), L. McAlister (Toulon), A.J. MacGinty (Sale), C. Piutau (Ulster), R. Williams (Dragons).

Forwards: J. Afoa (Gloucester), U. Dillane (Connacht), R. Herrera (Stade Francais), B. Kayser (Clermont), T. Polota-Nau (Leicester), S. Timani (Clermont), J. Tipuric (Ospreys), L. Uhila (Clermont), F. van der Merwe (Clermont), V. Vito (La Rochelle).