Barbarian F.C.


The Barbarian Football Club is a British invitational rugby union club made up of two teams. The Barbarians play in black and white hoops, though players wear socks from their own club strip.[2] Membership is by invitation; as of 2011, players from 31 countries have played for them.[3] Traditionally at least one uncapped player is selected for each match.[2][4]

Barbarians
Nickname(s)Baa-Baas
Coach(es) Vern Cotter (vs England Oct 2020)
Most appearances Tony O'Reilly (30)
Top scorer Tony O'Reilly (38 tries)
Team kit
First match
Hartlepool Rovers 4–9 Barbarians
(27 December 1890)
Largest win
Belgium  10–84 Barbarians
(24 May 2008)
Largest defeat
England XV  73–12 Barbarians
(31 May 2015)
[1]
Official website
www.barbarianfc.co.uk

The Barbarians usually play six annual matches: Penarth, Cardiff, Swansea and Newport at Easter; a game with Leicester on 27 December and the Mobbs Memorial Match against East Midlands in the spring. In 1948, the Barbarians were invited to face Australia as part of the Wallabies' tour of Britain, Ireland and France. Although initially designed as a fundraiser towards the end of the tour, the encounter became a popular and traditional fixture. Initially played every three years, it has become more frequent in the professional era, with the Barbarians now often playing one of the national teams visiting Britain each autumn.

On 29 May 2011, at halftime in the Barbarians' match against England at Twickenham, the Barbarians and their founder William Percy Carpmael were honoured with induction to the IRB Hall of Fame.[5] A women's team was established in 2017.

Many rugby clubs around the world are based on the Barbarians model of an invitational scratch team, including the French Barbarians, Australian Barbarians, New Zealand Barbarians and South African Barbarians.

History


Barbarians team that played Devonshire at Exeter, 1 April 1891

The Barbarian Club was formed by William Percy Carpmael, who had played rugby for Cambridge University,[6] and had been part of the Cambridge team which had undertaken a tour of Yorkshire in 1884.[7] Inspired by the culture behind short rugby tours he organised his first tour in 1889 with Clapham Rovers,[7] which was followed by an 1890 tour with an invitational team calling themselves the Southern Nomads.[8] At the time practically every club ceased playing in early March and there were no tours and players just 'packed up' until the following season. In 1890 he took the Southern Nomads – mainly composed of players from Blackheath – on a tour of some northern counties of England.

His idea – collecting a touring side from all sources to tackle a few leading clubs in the land – received strong support from leading players, particularly ex-university players. On 8 April 1890, in Leuchters Restaurant and later at the Alexandra Hotel in Bradford, the concept of the Barbarians was agreed upon.[9] The team toured later that year and beat Hartlepool Rovers 9–4 on 27 December in their first fixture.[10]

The team was given the motto by Walter Julius Carey, former Bishop of Bloemfontein and a former member of the Barbarians:

Rugby Football is a game for gentlemen in all classes, but for no bad sportsman in any class[11][12]

Penarth

The concept took hold over the years and the nearest thing to a club home came to be the Esplanade Hotel at Penarth in South Wales, where the Barbarians always stayed on their Easter tours of Wales.[13] The annual Good Friday game against the Barbarians was the highlight of the Penarth club's year and was always attended by enthusiastic capacity crowds. This fixture marked the start of the Baa-Baas' annual South Wales tour from their "spiritual home" of Penarth, which also included playing Cardiff RFC on the Saturday, Swansea RFC on Easter Monday and Newport RFC on the Tuesday.

The non-match day of Easter Sunday would always see the Barbarians playing golf at the Glamorganshire Golf Club,[14] in Penarth, while the former Esplanade Hotel, which was located on the seafront at Penarth, would host the gala party for the trip, sponsored by Penarth RFC. The first match took place in 1901,[13] and over the next 75 encounters, Penarth won eleven games, drew four and lost 60. Between 1920 and the first Athletics Field game in 1925, the Good Friday games were hosted on Penarth County Grammar School's sports field.

The final Penarth v Barbarians game was played in 1986, by which time the Penarth club had slipped from its prominent position in Welsh rugby. However, a special commemorative game, recognising the 100 years since the first Good Friday match, took place in 2001 and was played at the Athletic Field next to the Penarth clubhouse the day before the Barbarians played Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Gary Teichmann, captain of South Africa and the Barbarians, unveiled a plaque at the clubhouse to mark the event.

The Final Challenge

After the Second World War, in 1948, the Barbarians were asked by the British and Irish unions to raise a side to play the touring Australia team, to raise funds for the Australians' journey home via Canada.[10] This started the tradition of the "Final Challenge" – played as the last match in a tour of Britain and Ireland by Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

'The best try ever scored'

The Barbarian 'Final Challenge' match with the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park on 27 January 1973 is celebrated as one of the best games of rugby union ever played.[15] It was a game of attack and counterattack, and the Barbarians won the match 23–11, handing the All Blacks their fourth defeat of the tour. Gareth Edwards scored a try widely considered to be one of the best ever in rugby union.

Cliff Morgan described Gareth Edwards' try:

Kirkpatrick to Williams. This is great stuff! Phil Bennett covering chased by Alistair Scown. Brilliant, oh, that's brilliant! John Williams, Bryan Williams. Pullin. John Dawes, great dummy. To David, Tom David, the half-way line! Brilliant by Quinnell! This is Gareth Edwards! A dramatic start! What a score!!.....Oh that fellow Edwards....If the greatest writer of the written word would've written that story no one would have believed it. That really was something.[16]

Gareth Edwards said of the match:

People tend only to remember the first four minutes of the game because of the try, but what they forgot is the great deal of good rugby played afterwards, much of which came from the All Blacks. For us after the success of the 1971 Lions tour, which captured the imagination of the whole country, it was an opportunity to bring a lot of that side together again.

Traditional matches

The nature of the Barbarians as a touring side made for a diverse fixture list, but at a number of points in the club's history they have settled for a time into a regular pattern. Most of these regular matches have fallen by the wayside, whilst others continue to the present day:

  • 27 December game against Leicester Tigers – this began in 1909 as the third and final match of the Christmas Tour. It was played for the last time as a regular fixture in March 2006[17] but returned in November 2014 when the Barbarians beat Leicester 59–26 in their 125th anniversary season.[18]
  • The Edgar Mobbs Memorial Match – held for Edgar Mobbs, who was killed in The First World War. Played at Franklins Gardens against Northampton Saints, Bedford Blues or the East Midlands select XV. The first took place on 10 February 1921, and in later years became a tradition on the first Thursday in March. The last Mobbs Match to feature the Barbarians took place in April 2011. Since then, the invited opposition has been a British Army side instead of the Barbarians.[19]
  • Easter Tour – traditionally four matches against Penarth RFC (Good Friday), Cardiff RFC/Cardiff Blues (Holy Saturday); Swansea RFC (Easter Monday) and Newport RFC (Tuesday following Easter Monday). The Penarth match was dropped after 1986 as a regular fixture although in 2001 a special commemorative game, recognising 100 years since the first Good Friday match, was played at the Athletic Field next to the Penarth clubhouse the day before the Barbarians played Wales at the Millennium Stadium. The game against Newport was moved away from Easter after the 1982 fixture due to problems fielding a team for the fourth match of the tour[20] and was played as a midweek game early in the season from September 1982 onwards.[21] The Barbarians last played Newport in November 1996.
  • The Final Challenge – played as the last match in a tour of the UK by Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Initially played every three years, these games have become more frequent in the professional era. The fixture on 3 December 2008 between the Barbarians and Australia was played at Wembley Stadium, the first rugby union match played there since its redevelopment.
  • Remembrance Day game against the Combined Services, played in November. The fixture was first played in 1997 and the most recent game, in 2014, resulted in a 31–15 win for the Barbarians.[22]

They typically compete against teams from the home nations (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland) as well as other international sides. Other matches are played against club teams, often to celebrate anniversaries. The 2014–15 fixture list included matches against Leicester Tigers and Heriot's Rugby Club in addition to the Final Challenge game with Australia and the annual Combined Services match.[23] The Heriot's game celebrated the 125th anniversary of both that club and the Barbarians,[24] while the Leicester game was also part of the Barbarians' 125th anniversary schedule.[25] The Barbarians were also invited to play in the first ever Rugby match at the London Olympic Stadium in 2015 against Samoa.

Olympic rugby union centenary celebration match

Australia was approached by the British Olympic Association to play the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium on 3 December 2008. The match formed part of the BOA's programme of events to celebrate the centenary of the first London Olympic Games where Australia defeated a Great Britain (Cornwall) side in the final 32–3.[26] In 1908 France were the defending Olympic champions, but when they withdrew from the event, leaving just Australia and Great Britain to contest the gold medal, it was then County champions Cornwall who took to the field to represent the host nation. Cornwall had already been defeated in Australia's earlier 31-match tour. Cornwall's 1908 contribution was also further recognised by the presentation of the Cornwall Cup to the winning 2008 captain at Wembley, with the players of the respective sides receiving gold or silver commemorative medals. The 2008 game was the first rugby union fixture to take place in the new Wembley Stadium.[27] Australia went on to win 18 points to 11.

In a change to the tradition of the Barbarians players wearing their own club socks, in this game, they all wore Cornwall's black and gold socks. The break with the tradition was highly regarded by the secretary of the Cornwall Rugby Football Union, Alan Mitchell, who was said to have been humbled by the honour.[27]

Women's team

In October 2017 a women's team was announced for the first time in the club's history.[28] Their first match was a 19–0 victory against Munster on 10 November 2017, played as part of a double header with the men's team playing Tonga.[29] They subsequently played a match against the British Army in March 2018, winning 37–0.[30]

Their first-ever match against international competition saw six tries scored in a 34–33 victory against the USA at Infinity Park in the Denver suburb of Glendale, Colorado.[31][32] On 2 June 2019, Barbarians Women took on England at Twickenham as the prelude to a men's Barbarian F.C.'s match against an England XV (non-cap match)[33] losing the contest 40–14 (two tries scored to six conceded).[34][35] They went on to beat Wales at the Principality Stadium 43–33 on 30 November 2019 scoring 5 tries to 3 conceded.[36][35]

Matches against national teams


The Barbarian F.C. have played men's international matches since 1915 and women's international matches since 2019.[37]

Gender Opposing TeamsForAgainstResultDateVenueCityCompetition
Men  Wales2610Won17 April 1915Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffTour match
To raise 'patriotic funds'
Men  Australia96Won31 January 1948Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  South Africa317Lost26 January 1952Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  New Zealand519Lost20 February 1954Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Australia116Won22 February 1958Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  East Africa5212Won28 May 1958RFUEA GroundNairobiTour match
Men  South Africa60Won4 February 1961Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Canada33Draw17 November 1962Gosforth Greyhound StadiumGosforthTour match
Men  New Zealand336Lost15 February 1964Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Australia1117Lost28 January 1967Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  New Zealand611Lost16 December 1967TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  Rhodesia2421Won26 May 1969Police GroundsSalisburyTour match
Men  South Africa1221Lost31 January 1970TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Scotland3317Won9 May 1970MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
In aid of 1970 British Commonwealth Games
Men  Fiji929Lost24 October 1970Gosforth Greyhound StadiumGosforthFinal Challenge
Men  New Zealand2311Won27 January 1973Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  New Zealand1313Draw30 November 1974TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  Australia197Won24 January 1976Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Canada294Won12 June 1976York StadiumTorontoTour match
Men   British Lions1423Lost10 September 1977TwickenhamLondonSilver Jubilee Match
Men  New Zealand1618Lost16 December 1978Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Scotland2613Won26 March 1983MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  Australia3037Lost15 December 1984Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Italy2315Won26 May 1985Stadio FlaminioRomeTour match
Men  Australia2240Lost26 November 1988Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  New Zealand1021Lost25 November 1989TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  England1618Lost29 September 1990TwickenhamLondonTour match
Centenary celebrations
Men  Wales3124Won6 October 1990Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffTour match
Centenary celebrations
Men  Argentina3422Won17 November 1990Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Scotland1616Draw7 September 1991MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  Russia2327Lost6 June 1992LokomotivMoscowTour match
Men  Australia2030Lost28 November 1992TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  New Zealand1225Lost4 December 1993Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Zimbabwe2123Lost4 June 1994Police groundsHarareTour match
Men  South Africa2315Won3 December 1994Lansdowne RoadDublinFinal Challenge
Men  Ireland7038Won1996Lansdowne RoadDublinTour match
Peace International
Men  Scotland4845Won17 August 1996MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Dunblane Disaster Fund Match
Men  Wales1031Lost24 August 1996Cardiff Arms ParkCardiffTour match
Fully capped match for Wales
Men  Australia1239Lost7 December 1996TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  Ireland3130WonMay 2000Lansdowne RoadDublinTour match
Men  Scotland4542Won31 May 2000MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  Germany4719Won12 August 2000EilenriedestadionHanoverTour match
German Rugby Federation Centenary Match
Men  South Africa3141Lost10 December 2000Millennium StadiumCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  Wales4038Won20 May 2001Millennium StadiumCardiffTour match
Men  Scotland7431Won24 May 2001MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  England4329Won27 May 2001TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Australia3549Lost28 November 2001Millennium StadiumCardiffFinal Challenge
Men  England2953LostMay 2002TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Wales4025WonMay 2002Millennium StadiumCardiffTour match
Men  Scotland4727WonJune 2002MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  England4936WonMay 2003TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Scotland2415WonMay 2003MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  Wales4835WonMay 2003Millennium StadiumCardiffTour match
Men  Scotland4033Won22 May 2004MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  Wales042Lost27 May 2004Ashton GateBristolTour match
Men  England3212Won30 May 2004TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Portugal6634Won10 June 2004Universitário LisboaLisbonTour match
Men  New Zealand1947Lost4 December 2004TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  Scotland738Lost24 May 2005PittodrieAberdeenTour match
Men  England5239Won28 May 2005TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  England1946Lost28 May 2006TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Scotland1966Lost31 May 2006MurrayfieldEdinburghTour match
Men  Georgia2819Won4 June 2006Mikheil Meskhi StadiumTbilisiTour match
Men  Tunisia3310Won19 May 2007Stade El MenzahTunisTour match
Men  Spain5226Won23 June 2007Martínez ValeroElcheTour match
Men  South Africa225Won1 December 2007TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  Belgium8410Won24 May 2008Stade Roi BaudouinBrusselsTour match
Men  Ireland1439Lost27 May 2008KingsholmGloucesterTour match
Men  England1417Lost1 June 2008TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Australia1118Lost3 December 2008Wembley StadiumLondonFinal Challenge / Cornwall Cup
Men  England3326Won3 May 2009TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Australia755Lost6 June 2009Sydney Football StadiumSydneyTour match[38]
Men  New Zealand2518Won5 December 2009TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  England2635Lost30 May 2010TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Ireland2923Won4 June 2010Thomond ParkLimerickTour match
Men  South Africa2620Won4 December 2010TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  England3832Won29 May 2011TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Wales3128Won4 June 2011Millennium StadiumCardiffTour match
Celebration of 130th anniversary of the WRU; fully capped match for Wales
Men  Australia1160Lost26 November 2011TwickenhamLondonFinal Challenge
Men  England2657Lost27 May 2012TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Ireland2928Won29 May 2012Kingsholm StadiumGloucesterTour match
Men  Wales2130Lost2 June 2012Millennium StadiumCardiffTour match
Fully capped match for Wales
Men  England1240Lost26 May 2013TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men   British and Irish Lions859Lost1 June 2013Hong Kong StadiumHong KongLions tour match [39]
Men  Fiji4317Won30 November 2013TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  England3929Won1 June 2014TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Australia3640Lost1 November 2014TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Ireland2221Won28 May 2015Thomond ParkLimerickTour match
Men  England1273Lost31 May 2015TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Samoa2724Won29 August 2015Olympic StadiumLondonTour match
Men  Argentina3149Lost21 November 2015TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  South Africa3131Draw5 November 2016Wembley StadiumLondonTour match
Men  Czech Republic710Won8 November 2016Markéta StadiumPragueTour match
Celebration of 90th anniversary of the Czech Rugby Union
Men  Fiji407Won11 November 2016Ravenhill StadiumBelfastTour match
Men  England1428Lost28 May 2017TwickenhamLondonTour match
Old Mutual Wealth Cup
Men  Australia2831Lost28 October 2017Allianz StadiumSydneyTour match
Men  New Zealand2231Lost4 November 2017TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Tonga2724Won10 November 2017Thomond ParkLimerickTour match
Men  England6345Won28 May 2018TwickenhamLondonTour match
Quilter Cup
Men  Argentina3835Won1 December 2018TwickenhamLondonTour match
Women  United States3433Won26 April 2019Infinity ParkGlendale, ColoradoTour match
Women  England1440Lost2 June 2019TwickenhamLondonTour match
Double-header
Men  England4351Lost
Men  Fiji3133Lost16 November 2019TwickenhamLondonTour match
Men  Brazil4722Won20 November 2019Estádio do MorumbiSão PauloTour match
Women  Wales2915Won30 November 2019Millennium StadiumCardiffTour match
Double-header
Men  Wales3343Lost
Men  England 25 October 2020 Twickenham London Quilter Cup

Moved from June fixture due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Cancelled on 23 October 2020 due to players breaking COVID rules[40]

Overall

Match summary as of 30 November 2019
Gender Against Played Won Lost Drawn Win %
Men  Argentina321066.66%
Men  Australia14311021.43%
Men  Belgium1100100.00%
Men  Brazil1100100.00%
Men  Canada210150.00%
Men  Czech Republic1100100.00%
Men  East Africa1100100.00%
Men  England18810044.44%
Women  England10100.00%
Men  Fiji321066.67%
Men  Georgia1100100.00%
Men  Germany1100100.00%
Men  Ireland651083.33%
Men  Italy1100100.00%
Men  British and Irish Lions20200.00%
Men  New Zealand1128118.18%
Men  Portugal1100100.00%
Men  Russia10100.00%
Men  Samoa1100100.00%
Men  Scotland1182172.72%
Men  South Africa843150.00%
Men  Spain1100100.00%
Men  Tonga1100100.00%
Men  Tunisia1100100.00%
Women  United States1100100.00%
Men  Wales1064060.00%
Women  Wales1100100.00%
Men  Zimbabwe (& Rhodesia)211050.00%
Men Total985242453.06%
Women Total321066.66%
Both TOTAL1015443453.46%

Current squad


Barbarians squad picked to play England in the cancelled game on 25 October.[40]

Head Coach: Vern Cotter

Note: Bold denotes players that have represented the Barbarians in previous matches. Italics represents uncapped players.

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Date of birth (age) Club/province Union
Tom Woolstencroft Hooker (1994-09-18) 18 September 1994 (age 26) Saracens England
Tevita Ikanivere Hooker (1999-09-06) 6 September 1999 (age 21) Fijian Latui England
Chris Eves Prop (1987-12-11) 11 December 1987 (age 33) Manawatu New Zealand
Haereiti Hetet Prop (1997-07-10) 10 July 1997 (age 23) Bay of Plenty New Zealand
Simon Kerrod Prop (1992-08-25) 25 August 1992 (age 28) Harlequins South Africa
Samu Tawake Prop (1996-09-11) 11 September 1996 (age 24) Rugby United New York Fiji
Joel Kpoku Lock (1999-06-22) 22 June 1999 (age 21) Saracens England
Tim Swinson Lock (1987-02-17) 17 February 1987 (age 34) Saracens Scotland
Calum Clark Back row (1989-06-10) 10 June 1989 (age 32) Saracens England
Rusiate Nasove Back row Nadroga Fiji
Manueli Ratuniyarawa Back row Nadroga Fiji
Chris Robshaw Back row (1986-06-04) 4 June 1986 (age 35) Harlequins England
Jackson Wray Back row (1990-11-10) 10 November 1990 (age 30) Saracens England
Simione Kuruvoli Scrum-half (1999-01-02) 2 January 1999 (age 22) Fijian Latui England
Richard Wigglesworth Scrum-half (1983-06-09) 9 June 1983 (age 38) Saracens England
Manu Vunipola Fly-half (2000-05-04) 4 May 2000 (age 21) Saracens England
Dominic Morris Centre (1997-07-29) 29 July 1997 (age 23) Saracens England
Fergus McFadden Centre (1986-06-17) 17 June 1986 (age 34) Retired Ireland
Juan Pablo Socino Centre (1988-05-30) 30 May 1988 (age 33) Saracens Argentina
Serupepeli Vularika Centre (1990-04-29) 29 April 1990 (age 31) Fijian Latui England
Alex Lewington Wing (1991-09-20) 20 September 1991 (age 29) Saracens England
Sean Maitland Wing (1988-09-14) 14 September 1988 (age 32) Saracens Scotland
Tom de Glanville Fullback (1999-12-10) 10 December 1999 (age 21) Bath England

Previous squads


Presidents


The club's current president is former England and Barbarians player John Spencer, who was named in the position in December 2019.[41]

The office was first instituted in 1913. The previous six presidents were:

Honours


See also


Bibliography


  • Starmer-Smith, Nigel (1977). The Barbarians. Macdonald & Jane's Publishers. ISBN 0-86007-552-4.

References


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  14. Starmer-Smith (1977), p. 38.
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  34. "England Women 40-14 Barbarians Women: Red Roses claim dominant win in history-maker". Skysports.com. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
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  39. "Lions line up match in Hong Kong". BBC News. 18 October 2010.
  40. Jones, Chris; Scott, Laura (23 October 2020). "England v Barbarians called off after players breach COVID rules". BBC Sport. BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
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  42. "Melrose Sevens". Scottishsevens.sport.blog. 7 June 2019.