sports gazette

The Barbarian legacy with Alex Goode

Published: 29 May 2017

England may have won 28-14 at Twickenham on Sunday, but the Barbarian legacy lives on in yet another of rugby’s iconic matches.

In the black and white corner for the 16th match in the series, some of the game’s most decorated veterans carried the spirit of the Barbarians.

The squad included 28 players from 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Fiji, France, Georgia, New Zealand, Samoa, South Africa and representatives from the four home nations.

And as so often, there were a mix of household names; Australian Adam Ashley- Cooper, Steffon Armitage from France and Alex Goode.

The double European champion, three-time Premiership winner and Premiership player of the Season for 2015/2016 shared his thoughts with the Sports Gazette after his first game for the Barbarians.

Post match reaction with Barbarian Alex Goode

Goode will continue with the Baa-Baas on their summer tour of England and Ireland where they face Ulster next on Thursday 1st June.

The last time the Barbarians played in Belfast six months ago they thrashed Fiji 40-7. But for Ulster, it will be the first time the sides have met since 1957. 

As for England though, they now lead 9-7 in the campaign, which started 127 years ago.

Amongst the sea of white and red roses at Twickenham, it triggered the question, how many people know about the Barbarians' legacy?

With that in mind, the Sports Gazette decided to ask some fans what they knew about the opposition they had come to see.

The Barbarians are a unique rugby club. They don’t have a natural home and membership is invitational only.

To qualify for the team, each player gets chosen based on their standard and behaviour both on and off the field.

It is an honour to wear the black and white crest and to this day there have been 31 different nationalities with at least one uncapped player selected for each match.

Barbarian Head Coach Vern Cotter said ahead of the tour: "The Barbarians is all about bringing together talented players from different countries.

“We want to compete hard and to entertain in the best traditions of the club, so I’m looking forward to working towards that goal with all the players," Cotter said.

The Baa-Baas continue to represent the best of rugby and their entertaining style of play and unique team culture draws much admiration from the wider sporting world.

The famous rugby tradition is followed by a range of countries dating back to 1890.

This graphic shows the interest by region for the past five years.

William Percy Carpmael who formed the club, was inspired by a Cambridge University rugby tour. 

He loved the cohesive culture and this led to his idea of regular short trips involving players of the highest levels with the focus to simply be, enjoy.

Back in 1890, he took the Southern Nomads, which were mainly players from Blackheath, on a tour of the north.

Soon enough, the concept of the Barbarians was established over an oyster supper in Bradford.

Since then the idea has grown as it brings together the best of rugby: Adventure, attack and team culture.

Who would have thought that over a century later, the Barbarian tradition would be playing to sold out crowds around the world, it just shows how strong the legacy is within rugby.

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