The Barbarians have today launched a women's rugby side for the first time, who will play their opening game against Munster at Thomond Park on Friday, November 10th.
The match will be the first time women will officially wear the famous black and white colours and kick-starts the first of a number of matches planned for the 2017-18 season.
That team team will be coached by Wasps Head Coach Giselle Mather and managed by Fiona Stockley, who is the driving force behind the Nomads - a side which has often been called the unofficial Barbarians for the women's game and which has played against numerous test teams over the years.
The squad for the Munster game includes a mix of retired test players, up and coming stars and a handful of current internationals.
Those who have already accepted invitations have 440 international caps between them. They are Susie Brown (Scotland), Fiona Coghlan (Ireland), Claire Cripps and Megan Goddard (England), Elen Evans (Wales),
Emma Jenson (New Zealand), Christelle Le Duff (France) and Kelly Russell (Canada).
With the first game falling within a busy window of domestic league action, in England in particular, and in the build up to Autumn Tests, it is likely that this initial squad may be drawn more widely from former test players, however the Barbarians are confident as the team grows, there are likely to be more current test players involved as well as in games against test teams.
The game kicks off a not ideal time of 2.30pm on the Friday afternoon but it's understood that is a practical necessity due to an existing schools tournament which was already in place, before the Barbarians v Tonga match later in the evening.
“We’re delighted to open a new chapter in the Barbarian FC’s history with the creation of our women’s team this season,” said Barbarians Chairman John Spencer.
“Its formation is something we’ve been working towards for a number of years and it is a reflection of the excellence of the global women’s game which was showcased so brilliantly at this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.
“Our aim is to welcome more talented players into this iconic club to forge new friendships and play with the style and passion for which the Barbarians are famous. We are working with clubs and unions around the world to make sure it benefits the players and the game.”