Revealed: The greatest ever Barbarians XV - Ruck

Revealed: The greatest ever Barbarians XV

It was on April 8, 1890 – over a late night meal at Leuchters Restaurant in Bradford – that the Barbarians were born.

The brainchild of a player from Blackheath by the name of William Percy Carpmael, it was to be a touring side from all sources that would tackle a few leading clubs in the land.

From that small beginning grew one of the most celebrated sides in the history of the sport, a team that was to write its name in rugby folklore – and over 125 years later.

Here is our all-time XV:

Fullback: Andy Irvine – Scotland

Irvine was one of the great Barbarian servants of the 1970s, scoring 121 points, including 13 tries, in his 16 appearances. An almost automatic choice, he played against the All Blacks in 1974 and 1978 and the Wallabies in 1976. He also toured New England and Canada with the Club in 1976.

Winger: Tony O’Reilly – Ireland

O’Reilly has played more games and scored more tries for the Barbarians than anyone else in the Club’s history. His 38 tries puts him 11 ahead of the second highest try scorer (Rosslyn Park’s uncapped Englishman, Dave McKay) and with 30 games in his career the ‘nearest challengers’ as it were are on 25.

Centre: Jeremy Guscott – England

Guscott’s nine appearances for the Club included two trips to the Hong Kong Sevens in 1990 and 1991 when the Barbarians reached the semi-finals on both occasions. He scored four tries in his seven full matches for the Barbarians including touchdowns against Wales on the Centenary tour in 1990 and England in his final appearance at Twickenham in 2001.

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Centre: Phillipe Sella – France

Sella scored 45 tries in 111 internationals for France. He made his debut for the Baa-baas against Leicester in December 1991 and accepted his second invitation to play in the Peace International against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 1996 when he scored a try in the Barbarians’ 70-38 victory.