The History of The Barbarians

The Barbarians are steeped in history, with roots dating back to 1890. Conceived by William Percy Carpmael, the idea was simple: spread rugby to the world, good fellowship, camaraderie and trademark style of attacking rugby with flair, courage, spirit and passion on the field. Thus, creating a touring team made up of the greatest rugby football players from around the world and the Barbarian F.C. was born, with neither ground nor clubhouse, and its membership was by invitation only.

Their jersey has always been black and white, worn with dark shorts and each player's club stockings. The logo is made up of the letters B, F and C intertwined.

The Barbarians debut matches were played in 1890 against Hartlepool Rovers, Bradford and Swinton - with the team claiming a victory over their first opponent and a draw with their second, while the game was abandoned due to frost with their third.

During the early 20th Century, the club established "The Easter Tour" of South Wales with fixtures against Penarth, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea and is considered its spiritual home.

In 1948 the club played its first international opposition - Australia in Cardiff in front of capacity crowd and in the subsequent years played Autumn Internationals against southern hemisphere opposition.

One of their all-time most memorable games was against New Zealand in 1973. With one, if not the most famous try of all time finished off by Gareth Edwards. Played against the formidable All Blacks with a grinding style and fearless attitude, it included six tries and resulted in an illustrious 23-11 win for the Barbarians.

Since the 2000's a summer tour was created mainly with international fixtures against home nations teams of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Over the years, 31 different nationalities have represented the Baa-Baas and from a player's perspective is considered one of the greatest honours in the game to represent the club.

The who's who of rugby from around the globe have played for the club including Gareth Edwards, Willie John Mcbride, David Duckham, JPR Williams, Will Carling, David Campese, Gavin Hastings, Serge Blanco,Michael Lynagh, Jeremy Guscott, Waisale Serevi, Jonah Lomu, Zinzan Brooke, Francois Pienaar, Pat Lam, Carlos Spencer, Thomas Castaignede, Justin Marshall, Richie McCaw, George Gregan, Joe Roff, Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood, Raphael Ibanez, Brian O'Driscoll, Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Jean De Villiers, Adam Jones, Peter Stringer, Shane Williams, Gareth Thomas, Joe Rokocoko Sergio Parisse, Finn Russell, Greg Laidlaw, Chris Ashton, Rory Best, Joe Marler and Semi Radradra, Siya Kolisi. The list goes on and on…

For the past 10 years the Baa-Baas have competed in the Killik Cup during the Autumn against southern hemisphere international opposition, The last game took place in 2019 against Fiji. The thrilling match featured five tries apiece and resulted in a narrow 31-33 loss for the Barbarians, which were spearheaded by Rory Best, Mathieu Bastareaud and 2019 RWC winners Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, and Tendai "The Beast" Mtawarira.

In April 2021, organisers announced the invitational rugby team would next take on Samoa for the Killik Cup on Saturday 27 November 2021. The two sides are set to meet for the second time ever at London's Twickenham Stadium. Their first clash was at London's Olympic Park ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015.

As an international club, the Baa-Baas have had many Samoan greats don the black and white shirt, including Pat Lam, Dan Leo, Trevor Leota, Brian Lima, Seilala Mapasua and Census Johnston with some of the most recent being Joe Tekori, Chris Vui, Paul Williams, Tusi Pisi, and Kahn Fotuali'i.

"Playing the Barbarians is a wonderful opportunity for any nation," added Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai, the CEO of Lakapi Samoa. "They come with a great tradition and reputation and provide a hallmark for fantastic running rugby."

The Manu Samoa Head Coach, former London Irish centre Seilala Mapusua, who also played twice for the Barbarians, said: "Playing for the Barbarians was one of the highlights of my career. Their style of rugby gives you the freedom to simply go out and express yourself on the field alongside numerous international superstars of the game.

"So, it is not only a great honour to play for the Barbarians, but a great privilege for the Manu Samoa to play against them too. Fixtures such as these play an important role in the development of players on the international stage and provide fantastic building blocks for Samoa in the run up to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. The flair of the Barbarians will certainly test our attack and defensive systems and we look forward to entertaining the rugby fans at Twickenham too."

The Barbarians will face Samoa in the Killik Cup on Saturday 27 November at Twickenham Stadium. Find out more here.

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