James Hook is set to face the Lions with the Barbarians
James Hook is relishing the opportunity to face Warren Gatland's 2013 British & Irish Lions.
The Wales star, who toured South Africa with the Lions in 2009, is one of three former tourist in the Barbarians squad for the June 1, Hong Kong clash.
He was disappointed to miss the cut for selection for the Lions' 10-match tour but is honoured to add the famous invitational club to his glittering rugby CV.
"I was always hoping I had a chance but I suppose it comes down to the fact that I have not played a lot of rugby for Wales in the last year or two," said Hook.
"I feel I could have done a job for the Lions but I was always on the back-foot - it's each to their own. It's up to me to knuckle down and work hard on my weaknesses, which is something I will always do.
"But I'm really looking forward to facing them.
"Playing for the Barbarians is something I've always wanted to do. It's one of the only things I haven't done - I've played in the World Cup, gone on a Lions tour but never played for the Baa-Baas.
"It's a great honour so I'm chuffed with the invitation to play with so many great players."
The Lions and Barbarians are two of the most recognisable brands in world rugby and Hook grew up watching videos of the famous duo.
The Hong Kong Stadium clash will be the first time the two sides have met and the Perpignan fly-half is well aware of the match's historical significane.
"There's so much culture and history with the Barbarians," said Hook.
"I've grown up watching videos of their games with my grand parents. To play for the Baa-Baas is great and my family are thrilled as well,
"Every Baa-Baas player across the board stands out. I've played against a lot of them and with a few of the Welsh boys.
"It's going to be such a huge match and is brilliant for the fans, I'm sure it's being eagerly anticipated all over the world."
It will no doubt be a formidable match for the Lions to kick-off their tour and Hook reckons the Baa-Baas can cause an upset.
"Warren has already mentioned that it is all about the Test matches on a Lions tour," said Hook.
"You can win all the warm up matches but if you lose the Tests, that is what the fans remember.
"But this is a really hard game for the Lions to kick-off with.
"If you look at the teams on paper there's not much between them at all. All the players in the Baa-Baas squad are top class and have been there and done it."
With a host of English and Irish player involved in domestic finals, Gatland is likely to pick a very Welsh influenced side to take on the Baa-Baas.
Hook admits it will be a surreal experience and is expecting a torrent of banter to come flying his way from the likes of former Ospreys half-back partner Mike Phillips.
"There will be a lot of Welsh boys involved in that game and personally that will be very strange," added Hook.
"Mike's always full of the banter but he's a good guy and one of my best mates. I've played against him a few times in France now so I'm used to it."
Whenever Bedlinog tackle Penallta a massive fixure is guaranteed but this Sunday there will be even more emphasis placed on the two rivals when they contest the SSE Swalec Plate final at Principality Stadium.
Ahead of their SSE SWALEC Bowl Final clash with Taffs Well at Principality Stadium on Sunday, Burry Port share their #FABXV nomination with WRUTV in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers. Everyone can get involved by sending nominations via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins and Ospreys centre Ben John look ahead to the first game at Principality Stadium in Saturday's double header which is promising to be a special occasion for all Welsh fans.
Carmarthen Quins Director of Rugby Ian Jones and committee member Jeff Thomas along with Llandovery chairman Handel Davies look ahead to Sunday's SSE SWALEC Cup showdown where both teams are out to prove 'West is best'
SWALEC ambassador Shane WIlliams is looking forward to Sunday's Finals Day where the Cup, Bowl and Plate offers a great opportunity for players and teams to experience the magic of playing at Principality Stadium
Carmarthen Quins coach Richard Kelly believes it is an exciting time to be part of the Scarlets region as his side take on local rivals Llandovery in the SSE Swalec Cup final on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers