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Quinten Strange selected for NZ Provincial Baabaas team

Tasman's Quinten Strange has a date with the Lions in Whangarei in June.
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Tasman's Quinten Strange has a date with the Lions in Whangarei in June.

Tasman Makos lock Quinten Strange has been named in the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians team to play the British and Irish Lions on their upcoming tour to New Zealand.

Strange is the only Tasman player named in the 19-player lineup which will meet the Lions in their tour-opener at Whangarei's Toll Stadium on June 3.

The 20-year-old, 1.99m-tall lock was this year named in the Crusaders' extended Super Rugby squad, having already represented New Zealand at Schools and Under-20 level. The former Nelson College star debuted for the Makos in last season's Mitre 10 Cup and played 11 games.

Barbarians coach Clayton McMillan has confirmed the core of the squad for the series opener, which features a mix of players from 15 different provinces.

All Mitre 10 Cup unions and Heartland Championship and Meads Cup Champions Wanganui are represented and of the 19 players named, 13 have previously donned the black jersey for either New Zealand Schools, New Zealand Under-20s or Maori All Blacks.

The remainder of the squad will be confirmed closer to the team's assembly in Whangarei on May 28, as coaches monitor player progress across the country.

"It was important to us in selecting this team that it was truly representative of New Zealand," said McMillan.

"It wasn't an easy task, the amount of talent considered is testament to how strong New Zealand rugby is now. We believe we have found a mix of upcoming players and hardened provincial stalwarts to make an exciting team.

"We have picked the base of a team that is capable of playing an entertaining brand of rugby which fits with the BaaBaas tradition of innovation and flair and playing with pure guts and heart."

Four of the forwards boast Super Rugby experience, as well as exciting Taranaki midfielder Johnny Fa'auli who has made several appearances for the Chiefs in 2017.

It will be a family affair for North Harbour first-five-eighth Bryn Gatland who comes up against a British and Irish Lions side coached by his father Warren Gatland.

At a glance

NZ PROVINCIAL BARBARIANS - forwards: Aiden Ross (Bay of Plenty), Tolu Fahamokioa (Wellington), Sam Anderson-Heather (Otago), Epalahame Faiva (Waikato), Marcel Renata (Auckland), Quinten Strange (Tasman), Joshua Goodhue (Northland), Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Manawatu), Mitchell Brown (Taranaki), Matthew Matich (Northland), Peter Rowe (Wanganui); backs: Jonathan Taumateine (Counties Manukau), Jack Stratton (Canterbury), Bryn Gatland (North Harbour), Jonathan Fa'auli (Taranaki), Jonah Lowe (Hawke's Bay), Sevuloni Reece (Waikato), Luteru Laulala (Counties Manukau), Junior Ngaluafe (Southland).