Posts Tagged ‘Baa Baas’

On Saturday (2nd of June) the 2012 grand Slam champions Wales will play the Barbarians. This is an annual tradition, and it will be Wales’ warm up match before they embark on a tour of Australia, during which they will play 3 Test matches against the Wallabies.

Banner on the Millennium Stadium advertising the upcoming game between the 2012 Grand Slam Champions and the Barbarians on the 2nd of June.

Although the Barbarians have not announced their team yet, it will almost surely include Shane Williams, who retired from playing for Wales in the game against Australia last December, and who played his last game for his club The Ospreys on Saturday when he helped them win the Pro-12 league by scoring two tries. He is Wales’ record try scorer, and the words “elusive runner” barely begin to describe him. Shane Williams first burst onto the international scene in the sensational Wales v New Zealand match in the 2003 World Cup. You can watch highlights of that match here, or if you want to watch the entire game it is here.

The Barbarians team badge

The Barbarians are an invitational team, and by tradition only get together a few days before a match to train.

Gareth Edwards playing for the Barbarians against New Zealand in 1973

The most memorable game of rugby I have ever seen was the famous match between the Barbarians and the All Blacks (New Zealand) of January 1973. I was lucky enough to be at this game. I will have to ask my father if it was my first trip to Cardiff Arms Park, but I distinctly remember taking our seats in the South stand in the first few minutes (we must have been late arriving), only for everyone around us to get on their feet as Gareth Edwards scored one of the greatest tries the game of rugby has ever seen.

(this video has had nearly 2.5 million views on YouTube!!). The whole game was played in an amazing spirit, both sides deciding to run the ball from everywhere. The full match is also available on YouTube, you can watch it below.

I will be on my way to the Gobi desert to observe the Transit of Venus next week when this match is played on Saturday. I will, unfortunately, not only miss this game but also Wales’ first test match against Australia in Brisbane the following Saturday. I will be back in Wales in time to see the 2nd and 3rd tests of our 3-match series down under, and as I have said before, if wales win 1 or 2 matches in this series then expectations that we are seeing the dawn of a new “Golden Era” in Welsh rugby will be sky high.

Read Full Post »