Who are the Barbarians Rugby Team? Unpacking the History, Spirit, and All-Star Selection of the Baa-Baas

The Barbarians Rugby Team - or Baa-Baas as they're fondly nicknamed - hold a unique and storied position in the world of rugby.

Unlike the traditional national teams we're all familiar with, the Barbarians represent a thrilling concept – a coming together of exceptional rugby talent, transcending national borders and uniting under the common banner of breathtaking skill and entertaining play.

Who are the Barbarians FC Rugby Team

A Legacy Woven with Legends: From Humble Beginnings to a Global Phenomenon

Founded in 1890 by William Percy Carpmael, the Barbarians origins can be traced back to a desire for more competitive rugby outside the traditional season.

Initially formed as an invitational touring team, the Barbarians embarked on journeys across Britain, showcasing their brand of free-flowing rugby against county and regional sides.

It wasn't long before their reputation for thrilling contests and audacious play spread further afield. Soon, the Barbarians were facing national teams, with iconic matches against New Zealand in 1913 and South Africa in 1932 becoming etched in rugby folklore.

Imagine the spectacle of Jonah Lomu weaving through defenses like a runaway freight train in the 1990s, or the sheer magic of THAT Gareth Edwards iconic solo try against the Barbarians in 1973 – the Barbarians have not only witnessed these moments, but actively participated in creating them. It's incredible what a special group of players can do with a rugby ball!

The likes of Bryan Williams, Phil Bennett, and countless other legends have graced the Barbarians jersey, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire generations of players.


Who can play for the Barbarians Rugby Team?

Membership by Invitation Only: A Celebration of Skill and Sportsmanship

One of the key aspects that truly sets the Barbarians apart is the way they assemble their team. There's no qualification by nationality; The only criteria a player must fulfil to recieve an invitation from The Barbarians are: 1) the player's rugby is of a good standard and 2) they behave themselves on and off the field.

Anyone who embodies the spirit of the Barbarians – exceptional talent, a flair for the unexpected, and a deep respect for the game – can be considered. This opens the door to a truly special selection process. National team players at the peak of their powers find themselves lining up alongside exciting young prospects, while even uncapped players with the potential to be the next Lomu or Edwards can be drafted into the fold. It's a testament to the all-encompassing nature of the Barbarians that they can identify and celebrate such a diverse range of talent.

This unique approach allows for a fascinating mix of players, from seasoned veterans of the international stage to rising stars and even uncapped players with the raw talent and audacity to light up the field.

The result? A fast-paced, free-flowing brand of rugby that puts the beauty of the sport on full display, captivating fans worldwide.

What Nationality are the Barbarians Rugby Team?

Nationality? A Beautiful Irrelevance

Since their inception, players from over 25 countries have had the privilege of pulling on the iconic black and white hooped jersey. The Barbarians are a true melting pot of talent, united by their love for the game and their desire to showcase breathtaking rugby. It's a beautiful display of how rugby can transcend national borders and cultural differences, fostering camaraderie and a shared passion for the sport.

Beyond the Questions: The True Essence of the Barbarian Spirit

The Barbarians are more than just a team; they represent a philosophy of open, entertaining rugby. They are a celebration of individual brilliance working within a cohesive unit, a testament to the unifying power of sport.

The Iconic Black and White Stripes: A Symbol of Unification

Few sights in rugby are as instantly recognisable as the Barbarians' black and white hooped jersey. This unique design, a stark contrast to the traditional national team colours, perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the Barbarians – a team united by their love for the game, not by their nationality.

Barbarians Home Shirt 23/24

Why do the Barbarians Rugby Team wear different socks?

A Touch of Tradition: Socks of choice

There's a charming tradition that keeps the Barbarians' connection to their players' roots alive – each player has the choice to pick their own socks, often  from their rugby club of origin. It's a subtle reminder that while they don the black and white for the match, their hearts still hold a piece of their home clubs and communities.

Still Up for a Party: A Callback to the Amateur Spirit

While the professional game has transformed rugby, the Barbarians retain a touch of the amateur era. Renowned for both their pre and post-match revelry, there's a sense of camaraderie and shared experience that extends beyond the final whistle. It's a reminder of the joy and social aspects of the sport, a quality that the Barbarians so beautifully embody.

Following in the Footsteps of the Men: The Rise of the Women's Barbarians

The Barbarians women's rugby team is a relatively new addition to the world of rugby, having been established in 2017. Following in the tradition of the men's Barbarians team, they are known for selecting talented players from various nations to come together and play a fast-paced, open style of rugby.

Their inaugural match was a victory against Munster Rugby in 2017, and they have continued to play matches against other teams like the USA and the British Army. In November 2023, they announced a two-match tour to South Africa and Ireland, highlighting their growing profile in the sport.

The Barbarians women's team not only provides a platform for established stars but also integrates up-and-coming players, giving them valuable experience alongside World Cup winners. This blend of talent and opportunity makes the Barbarians a team to watch in the world of women's rugby.

So, the next time you see the Barbarians take the field, prepare to witness a spectacle – a display of dazzling skill, unwavering sportsmanship

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