Barbarian F.C.

Barbarian F.C.
Nickname(s) Baa-Baas
Most appearances Ireland Tony O'Reilly (30)
Top scorer Ireland 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
 Australia 55 – 7 Barbarians
(06 June 2009)
Official website

The Barbarian Football Club, usually referred to as the Barbarians and nicknamed the "Baa-Baas", is an invitational rugby union team based in Britain. The Barbarians play in traditional black and white hoops, though players retain the socks from their "home" club strip.

Membership is by invitation and the only qualifications considered when issuing an invitation are that the player's rugby is of a high enough standard and secondly that he should behave himself on and off the field. Being asked to become a Barbarian is an honour and not one restricted to British players; in addition to all four of the Home Nations, players from 27 other countries have worn Barbarian colours.[1] Traditionally at least one uncapped player is selected for each match.

The Barbarians traditionally played six annual encounters, Penarth, Cardiff, Swansea and Newport during their Easter Tour; a Boxing Day game with Leicester and the Mobbs Memorial Match against East Midlands in the spring. In 1948, the Barbarians were invited to face Australia as part of that team's tour of Britain, Ireland and France. Although initially designed as a fund raiser towards the end of the tour, the encounter became a popular fixture for most touring nations to Britain, and a Barbarian tradition.

On 29 May 2011, during halftime of the Barbarians' match against England at Twickenham, the Barbarians and their founder William Percy Carpmael were honoured for their unique contributions to the sport with induction to the IRB Hall of Fame.[2]

The Barbarian Football Club should not be confused with the Barbarian Rugby Club, also known as the French Barbarians, one of many invitational clubs based on Barbarian F.C. around the world.



Barbarians team that faced Huddersfield, December 1891

The Barbarian Club was formed by William Percy Carpmael, who had played rugby for Cambridge University,[3] and had been part of the Cambridge team which had undertaken a tour of Yorkshire in 1884.[4] Inspired by the culture behind short rugby tours he organised his first tour in 1889 with Clapham Rovers,[4] which was followed by an 1890 tour with an invitational team calling themselves the Southern Nomads.[5] 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 9 April 1890 in Leuchters Restaurant at the Alexandra hotel in Bradford, the concept of the Barbarians was agreed upon.[6] The team toured later that year and beat Hartlepool Rovers 9 – 4 on 27 December in their first fixture.

The team was given the motto by Walter Julius Carey, former Bishop of Bloemfontein and a former member of the Barbarians:[7]

Rugby Football is a game for gentlemen in all classes, but for no bad sportsman in any class.

Penarth, Barbarians HQ

The now demolished Esplanade Hotel, photographed in 1970 and seen here just on the other side of the Penarth swimming pool and baths. "The Esp", as it was known, was the spiritual home and headquarters of the Barbarians Football Club for over 75 years

The concept took hold over the years and the nearest thing to a club home came to be the Esplanade Hotel, Penarth in South Wales, where the Barbarians always stayed on their Easter tours of Wales.[8] The annual Good Friday games against the Barbarians was the highlight of the Penarth club's year and were 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 encompassed 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,[9] in Penarth, while the former Esplanade Hotel, that was located on the seafront at Penarth would host the gala party for the trip, sponsored by the Penarth RFC club. The first match took place in 1901,[8] 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 former 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 both the South African International squad 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 Home Unions to raise a side to play the touring Australian side. This started the tradition of the Final Challenge – played as the last match in a tour of Britain and Ireland by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

That game, that try

The Barbarian Final Challenge match with the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park on January 27, 1973 is celebrated as one of the best games of rugby union ever played. It was a game of attack and counter attack.

Cliff Morgan described that try by Gareth Edwards:

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.[10]

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."

The Barbarians won the match 23 – 11 (27 – 13 in today's scoring system), handing the All Blacks their fourth defeat of the tour.


Barbarians: Tries: G.O. Edwards, J.F. Slattery, J.C. Bevan, J.P.R. Williams; Conversions: P. Bennett (2); Penalty: P. Bennett
All Blacks: Tries: G.B. Batty (2); Penalty: J.F. Karam

Past presidents

The office was first instituted in 1913:

  • W.P. Carpmael, held office from 1913–1936; (the founder of the Barbarians)
  • Emile de Lissa, held office from 1936–1955; associated as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and President from 1901–1955
  • Jack "Haigho" Smith, held office in 1955, (term lasted for only a few weeks before his death, having previously given devoted service as Honorary Secretary for more than 30 years)
  • Brigadier Glyn Hughes, held office from 1955–1973;
  • Herbert Waddell, held office from 1973–1988;
  • Micky Steele-Bodger, held office since 1988.

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. Some of these regular matches have fallen by the wayside, whilst others continue to the present day:

  • Boxing Day fixture against Leicester Tigers – this began in 1909 as the third and final match of the Christmas Tour. No longer played.
  • 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. The fixture will continue, but the invited opposition in the future will be a British Army side instead of the Barbarians.[11]
  • Easter Tour – traditionally four matches against Penarth RFC (Good Friday), Cardiff RFC/Cardiff Blues (Easter Saturday); Swansea RFC (Easter Monday) and Newport RFC (Tuesday following Easter Monday). The Penarth match was dropped after the 1986 match as a regular fixture although in 2001 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.
  • The Final Challenge — played as the last match in a tour of the UK by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Because of the changes in the game in recent years, long tours have effectively disappeared from the game and there is less scope for this challenge. The fixture returned on December 3, 2008 when the Barbarians played Australia at Wembley Stadium, the first rugby union match to be played there since its redevelopment.
  • Remembrance Day game against the Combined Services, played in early November.

They typically compete against teams from the home nations (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland) as well as other international sides.

1908 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.[12] 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. The contribution of Cornwall 1908 contribution was also further recognised by the presentation of the Cornwall Cup to the winning captain at Wembley, with the players of the respective sides receiving gold or silver commemorative medals. The game was the first rugby union fixture to take place in the new Wembley Stadium, the old stadium having been last used for Wales' last gasp 32–31 victory over England in the then Five Nations in 1999.[13] 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.[13]


Matches against International sides

Opposing Teams For Against Date Venue City Competition
 Wales 26 10 1915-04-17 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Tour Match
To raise 'patriotic funds'
 Australia 9 6 1948-01-31 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 South Africa 3 17 1952-01-26 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 New Zealand 5 19 1954-02-20 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Australia 11 6 1958-02-22 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge Terms of Use before you submit it.
 East Africa 52 12 1958-05-28 RFUEA Ground Nairobi Tour Match
 South Africa 6 0 1961-02-04 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Canada 3 3 1962-11-17 Gosforth Tour Match
 New Zealand 3 36 1964-02-15 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Australia 11 17 1967-01-28 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 New Zealand 6 11 1967-12-16 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 Rhodesia 24 21 1969-05-26 Tour Match
 South Africa 12 21 1970-01-31 Twickenham London Tour Match
 Scotland 17 33 1970-05-09 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
In aid of 1970 British Commonwealth Games
 Fiji 9 29 1970-10-24 Gosforth Final Challenge
 New Zealand 23 11 1973-01-27 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 New Zealand 13 13 1974-11-30 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 Australia 19 7 1976-01-24 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Canada 29 4 1976-06-12 Toronto Tour Match
British Lions 14 23 1977-09-10 Twickenham London Silver Jubilee Match
 New Zealand 16 18 1978-12-16 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Scotland 26 13 1983 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 Australia 30 37 1984-12-15 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Italy 23 15 1985-05-26 Tour Match
 Australia 22 40 1988-11-26 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 New Zealand 10 21 1989-11-25 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 England 16 18 1990-09-29 Twickenham Tour Match
Centenary celebrations
 Wales 31 24 1990-10-06 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Tour Match
Centenary celebrations
 Argentina 34 22 1990-11-17 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Scotland 16 16 1991-09-07 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 Russia 23 27 1992-06-06 Tour Match
 Australia 20 30 1992-11-28 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 New Zealand 12 25 1993-12-04 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Final Challenge
 Zimbabwe 21 23 1994-06-04 Tour Match
 South Africa 23 15 1994-12-03 Lansdowne Road Dublin Final Challenge
 Ireland 70 38 1996 Lansdowne Road Dublin Tour Match
Peace International
 Scotland 45 48 1996-08-17 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
Dunblane Disaster Fund Match
 Wales 31 10 1996-08-24 Cardiff Arms Park Cardiff Tour Match
 Australia 12 39 1996-12-07 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 Ireland 31 30 2000–05 Lansdowne Road Dublin Tour Match
 Scotland 45 42 2000-05-31 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 Germany 47 19 2000-08-12 Eilenriedestadion Hanover Tour Match
German Rugby Federation Centenary Match
 South Africa 31 41 2000-05-31 Millennium Stadium Cardiff Final Challenge
 Wales 40 38 2001-05-20 Millennium Stadium Cardiff Tour Match
 Scotland 74 31 2001-05-24 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 England 43 29 2001-05-27 Twickenham Tour Match
 Australia 35 49 2001-11-28 Millennium Stadium Cardiff Final Challenge
 England 29 53 2002–05 Twickenham Tour Match
 Wales 40 25 2002–05 Millennium Stadium Cardiff Tour Match
 Scotland 47 27 2002–06 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 England 49 36 2003–05 Twickenham Tour Match
 Scotland 24 15 2003–05 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 Wales 48 35 2003–05 Millennium Stadium Cardiff Tour Match
 Scotland 40 33 2004-05-22 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 Wales 0 42 2004-05-27 Ashton Gate Bristol Tour Match
 England 32 12 2004-05-30 Twickenham Tour Match
 Portugal 66 34 2004-06-10 Universitário Lisboa Lisbon Tour Match
 New Zealand 19 47 2004-12-04 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 Scotland 9 38 2005-05-24 Pittodrie Aberdeen Tour Match
 England 52 39 2005-05-28 Twickenham Tour Match
 England 19 46 2006-05-28 Twickenham Tour Match
 Scotland 19 66 2006-05-31 Murrayfield Edinburgh Tour Match
 Georgia 28 19 2006-06-04 Mikheil Meskhi Stadium Tbilisi Tour Match
 Tunisia 33 10 2007-05-19 Stade El Menzah Tunis Tour Match
 Spain 52 26 2007-06-23 Martínez Valero Elche Tour Match
 South Africa 22 5 2007-12-01 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 Belgium 84 10 2008-05-24 Stade Roi Baudouin Brussels Tour Match
 Ireland 14 39 2008-05-27 Kingsholm Gloucester Tour Match
 England 14 17 2008-06-01 Twickenham London Tour Match
 Australia 11 18 2008-12-03 Wembley Stadium London Final Challenge / Cornwall Cup
 England 35 26 2009-05-03 Twickenham London Tour Match [14]
 Australia 7 55 2009-06-06 Sydney Football Stadium Sydney Tour Match [15]
 New Zealand 25 18 2009-12-05 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 England 26 35 2010-05-30 Twickenham London Tour Match
 Ireland 29 23 2010-06-04 Thomond Park Limerick Tour Match
 South Africa 26 20 2010-12-04 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 England 38 32 2011-05-29 Twickenham London Tour Match
 Wales 31 28 2011-06-04 Millennium Stadium Cardiff Tour Match
Celebration of 130th anniversary of the WRU; fully capped match for Wales
 Australia 2011-11-26 Twickenham London Final Challenge
 England 2012-05-27 Twickenham London Tour Match
British and Irish Lions 2013-06-01 Hong Kong Stadium So Kon Po Lions Tour Match [16]

Squad for 2011 Autumn tour

Barbarians squad for their match on 26th November against Australia .[17]

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

Player Position Union
Keven Mealamu (New Zealand Auckland) Hooker New Zealand New Zealand
Adriaan Strauss (South Africa Cheetahs) Hooker South Africa South Africa
Eusebio Guiñazú (France Toulouse) Prop Argentina Argentina
Sylvain Marconnet (France Biarritz) Prop France France
Salvatore Perugini (Italy Aironi) Prop Italy Italy
Simon Shaw (France Toulon) Lock England England
Victor Matfield (France Toulon) Lock South Africa South Africa
Marco Bortolami (Italy Aironi) Lock Italy Italy
Jerome Kaino (New Zealand Auckland) Flanker New Zealand New Zealand
Mauro Bergamasco (Unattached) Flanker Italy Italy
Jason White (France Clermont) Flanker Scotland Scotland
Adam Thomson (New Zealand Otago) Number 8 New Zealand New Zealand
Player Position Union
Nemia Kenatale (Fiji Tailevu) Scrum-half Fiji Fiji
Peter Stringer (Ireland Munster) Scrum-half Ireland Ireland
Danny Cipriani (Australia Rebels) Fly-half England England
Robbie Frueanuc (New Zealand Canterbury) Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Stirling Mortlock (Australia Rebels) Centre Australia Australia
Seru Rabeni (France La Rochelle) Centre Fiji Fiji
Bryan Habana (South Africa Western Province) Wing South Africa South Africa
Richard Kahui (New Zealand Waikato) Wing New Zealand New Zealand
Isaia Toeava (New Zealand Auckland) Fullback New Zealand New Zealand
Sam Tomkinsuc (England Wigan Warriors) Fullback England England
uc: denotes player uncapped at International Level (15 a-side)

Coaching staff

Notable players

The 16 players chosen by the Barbarians official website as the outstanding players to represent the club.[18]


Original members of the Barbarians, 1890–1891

  • Frederic Alderson England Cam.
  • Alfred Allport England
  • Darsie Anderson Scotland
  • Randolph Aston England United Kingdom Cam.
  • Edward Bromet United Kingdom Cam.
  • Richard Budworth England Oxon.
  • William Percy Carpmael Cam.
  • R.F. Chaldecott
  • Percy Christopherson England Oxon.
  • Paul Robert Clauss Scotland United Kingdom Oxon.
  • Percival Coles Oxon.
  • F.C. Cousins Oxon.
  • Feltrim Edward Duckworth Cam.
  • R.O.B. Lane Oxon.
  • William Leake England Cam.
  • Gregor MacGregor Scotland Cam.
  • H. McNiven
  • W.H. Mansfield
  • Howard Marshall England United Kingdom
  • Philip Maud England
  • Walter Nathaniel Mayne Cam.
  • William Grant Mitchell England United Kingdom Cam.
  • Piercy Morrison England Cam.
  • Eustace North England Oxon.
  • Charles Nicholl Wales Cam.
  • Launcelot Percival England Oxon.
  • John Rogers England
  • Mason Scott England Cam.
  • William Martin Scott England Cam.
  • E.W. Senior
  • Thomas Storey Cam.
  • Andrew Stoddart England United Kingdom
  • Aubone Surtees United Kingdom Cam.
  • C.J. Vernon
  • Thomas Sherren Whittaker United Kingdom
  • Sammy Woods England Cam.
  • William Yiend England

See also


  • Starmer-Smith, Nigel (1977). The Barbarians. Macdonald & Jane's Publishers. ISBN 0860075524. 


  1. ^ "Mason on bench for Baa Baas". ESPN Scrum. 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Carpmael and Barbarians in Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Starmer-Smith (1977), pg 13.
  4. ^ a b Starmer-Smith (1977), pg 14.
  5. ^ Starmer-Smith (1977), pg 15.
  6. ^ Starmer-Smith (1977), pg 20.
  7. ^ Starmer-Smith (1977), pg 10.
  8. ^ a b Starmer-Smith (1977), pg 37.
  9. ^ Starmer-Smith (1977), pg 38.
  10. ^ Morgan fears for game that has lost its sense of fun 2003-01-25
  11. ^ Richards, Huw (22 April 2011). "The end of an era". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Australia approached to mark Cornwall v Australia centenary match". Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  13. ^ a b Cornish rugby to be honoured at Wembley Wednesday, December 03, 2008, 10:00
  14. ^ "BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | English | England omit Cipriani from squad". London: BBC News. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  15. ^ "The Barbarians – News". 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2009-05-21. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Lions line up match in Hong Kong". BBC News. 2010-10-18. 
  17. ^ "Graham Henry and Steve Hansen to coach Barbarians at Twickenham". Barbarian FC. 2011-10-23. 
  18. ^ Roll of Honour

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • barbarian — [bär ber′ē ən] n. [< L barbarus,BARBAROUS] 1. Obs. an alien or foreigner: in the ancient world applied esp. to non Greeks, non Romans, or non Christians 2. a member of a people or group with a civilization regarded as primitive, savage, etc. 3 …   English World dictionary

  • Barbarian — Bar*ba ri*an, n. [See {Barbarous}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A foreigner. [Historical] [1913 Webster] Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 1… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Barbarian — Bar*ba ri*an, a. Of, or pertaining to, or resembling, barbarians; rude; uncivilized; barbarous; as, barbarian governments or nations. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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