Author Topic: The Barbarians  (Read 647 times)

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Offline Colwyn

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The Barbarians
« on: November 11, 2011, 17:43:26 PM »
This is a eulogy. It is a eulogy to a rugby football club that we might say doesn't really exist; it is merely an idea of a rugby club. But it is an idea that has been turned into fact for over a hundred and twenty years. I can think of no other sport where a phenomenon like this exists, or where you could even imagine it existing. It is The Barbarians. For those of you who are not yet rugby fans let me tell you a few things about it.

The rugby "club" has no pitch nor clubhouse. It doesn't really have "a team", and the only way you can become a member is by invitation. Players from any country may be invited to play for the team, but to qualify they must have an exemplary track record on and off the field - or, as The Barbarians' motto puts it: "Rugby Football is a game for gentlemen in all classes, but for no bad sportsman in any class" (Walter Julius Carey, former Bishop of Bloemfontein and member of the Barbarians, 1894). Today, they have to meet another criterion - they have to play the game with style and flair. The players, apart from expenses, are not paid to play for the team.

Since 1948, The Barbarians  have played against international teams visiting the UK. Its players are invitees from countries all around the world (players from over 30 countries have been invited so far) from everywhere except the home nation of the team they are playing. Players are generally outstanding and well-recognized international  players of their respective nations but, by tradition, one must be a new, uncapped, talent. They wear a kit of black and white-hooped shirts and black shorts but their socks are multi-coloured - this is because each player wears the socks of his "home" club.

When rugby went professional in the UK many thought this would be the end of The Barbarians; how could it have a place in the new world of  high wages, TV rights, and the demands of club and country? But The Barbarians has survived, anachronism or not, because rugby players still want the honour of playing for such a glorious team, that has so many great players in its roll of honour, and to play the flamboyant, open, sparkling game for which The Barbarians are famous; to play with what the Welsh call "hwyl" - which translates into English as "fun" but which means far more that and encompasses passion, style, flair, heart and so on. They play for The Barbarians because they are great players who love rugby, and love playing with other great players. And we love to watch them because of the way they play.

Their past games are some of the finest ever seen on a rugby field. The next fixture is Barbarians v Australia, Sat. 26 November, Twickenham.



Offline Highlander

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The Barbarians
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 19:24:01 PM »
A fantstic post Colwyn. Who that witnessed it, could ever forget 1973. Sheer brilliance which illustrates your post perfectly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwCbG4I0QyA

Offline Colwyn

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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 19:30:23 PM »
That is one side of things, H. Another side of these rugby greats is expessed by the scorer of the try in the opening minutes that some people call "the best try ever". Gareth Edwards says: "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." Now that, is style.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 19:36:01 PM by Colwyn »

Offline Highlander

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The Barbarians
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 20:02:06 PM »
Class indeed being permanent, Colwyn.

Offline valleyboy

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The Barbarians
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2011, 11:31:38 AM »
Nice post Colwyn !




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