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Another Premiership club secures a fixture versus the Barbarians

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians)

The Barbarians have added yet another match to their upcoming September/October UK and Ireland tour, agreeing to return to Franklin’s Gardens just 11 months after they last played there against Northampton.

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With the start of the 2023/24 season delayed due to the Rugby World Cup in France, clubs have been firming up their pre-season calendars and the Baa-Baas are proving to be a popular choice.

A men’s squad that will be coached by a four-strong Australian contingent already had matches organised against Bristol (September 7), Scarlets (September 16), Munster (September 30) and Harlequins (October 7), and they will now also take on Northampton.

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Inside the Barbarians sheds at halftime | Being Barbarians

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Inside the Barbarians sheds at halftime | Being Barbarians

A statement read: “Northampton Saints are delighted to confirm that Barbarian FC will return to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens later this summer, with the sides set to lock horns on Saturday, September 2 (kick-off: 3pm).

“Saints ran out 45-39 winners on a memorable afternoon when the sides met for the first time ever back in November 2022 – with likes of Saints legends Tom Wood and Luther Burrell joining international stars Danny Cipriani, Owen Williams and Francois Hougaard in the famous Barbarians hooped jerseys.

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“The Barbarians will be led by an Australian coaching quartet of Jason Gilmore, Laurie Fisher, Berrick Barnes, and Nathan Grey. Gilmore, the current NSW Waratahs assistant coach, has previously coached at Queensland Reds and the Australia U20s. Barnes, a former dual-code star and 51-cap Wallaby international, is a current member of NRL side Newcastle Knights’ coaching staff.

“The 35-cap Wallaby centre Nathan Grey is the former Australia and NSW Waratahs defence coach, while former Gloucester coach Fisher is the current assistant coach of the Brumbies.”

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Northampton CEO Mark Darbon said: “The visit of the Baa-Baas last year was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the season at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, and given the brilliant feedback we had from our supporters following that game, we are delighted to welcome them back again.

“We were able to showcase a fantastic day of top-class rugby, creating a new piece of history for Northampton Saints as we played the famous side for the first time.

“We also, as is the case this season, were able to ensure our supporters were not left out-of-pocket with fewer Gallagher Premiership fixtures on our calendar, and we remain committed to delivering unmissable entertainment at great value for all our season ticket holders and hospitality guests.

“Everyone at the club is thrilled about the prospect of welcoming Barbarian FC back to Northampton, and we would like to thank everyone involved for helping to make it happen. It should be an excellent way to kick our season off on home soil, combining the Baa-Baas’ world-famous flair with Saints’ exhilarating brand of rugby.”

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Baa-Baas assistant Gilmore added: “To coach the Barbarians on a UK tour is an exciting challenge and one I can’t wait for. The opportunity to bring the Barbarian style of play to a full house at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens will make for a great match.”

Fisher added: “I’m very excited to be returning to the UK. Time passes quickly and the quality of rugby in the northern hemisphere has continued to rise.

“To have the opportunity to be associated with the Barbarian name in rugby is a true honour and I look forward to seeing some old faces and meeting new ones as my rugby journey continues.”

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Comments

2 Comments
i
ian 398 days ago

@bears fan here. Less teams, same, if not higher ticket price and we have to pay extra to watch Barbarians!

A
A 398 days ago

All this jumping up and down about a ten team league to minimise games and increase player welfare ... is the realisation that ten teams means less revenue so teams now have to play invitational teams?

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Wonton 5 hours ago
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One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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Nick 6 hours ago
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Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

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