Two years on from beating South Africa 60-5 in front of a then-record crowd of 29,581 at Twickenham Stadium, the Barbarians has announced that its women’s side will be embarking on a two-match – and two hemisphere – Autumn tour.
The squad travels to Cape Town first. playing South Africa on Saturday 23 September at Athlone Stadium, kick-off 4.30pm, before travelling to Ireland to play Munster.
The squad named features 631 caps from eight nations and features several Rugby World Cup winners.
Barbarian Women team founder and Barbarian Committee member Fiona Stockley said: “I am absolutely thrilled to get Barbarian Women back on the road. Two years on from our historic match at Twickenham against South Africa Women’s XV, it will be very exciting to go down to Cape Town for the return fixture – a city with so much passion for our game.
“And then onto Munster, which holds a special place in my heart as the venue for the first-ever Barbarian Women’s match. I’m sure both sides will be looking to overturn the last scorelines and we are looking forward to coming together, bonding as a squad and putting on two great shows of rugby.”
SA Rugby's High-Performance Manager: Women, Lynne Cantwell, welcomed the news of the BaaBaas visit.
"We were truly honoured when invited to play the BaaBaas at Twickenham at the end of 2021 and although effects of the Covid pandemic at the time impacted on the game, we still played them with close to 30 000 people in attendance, the highest spectator count for a women's game at the time. They come with a team that will be packed with international experience and class and their presence in Cape Town will be a massive boost to the exposure of the WXV tournament. This is going to be an historic and very meaningful match for women's rugby in the country and continent."
The Springbok Women will use the game as part of their buildup to the WXV2 competition. They are also set to play Test matches against Kenya and Samoa as part of their preparations.
The Barbarians game against Munster is part of a double header with the men’s side. This occasion marks six years since the Barbarian Women’s inaugural match, also against Munster at Thomond Park. As the first place where women ran out in the famous Black and White, the Club is proud they are returning alongside the men’s side for a repeat fixture.
Featured in the squad are some world-class legends of the women’s game. England veteran and Rugby World Cup 2014 winner Vicky Fleetwood (82 caps) and Wales’ Elinor Snowsill (76 caps) join Patricia Garcia Rodrigues, capped 42 times for Spain XVs and 384 for Spain 7s, and Italy’s most-capped player Sara Barratin.
Ireland’s Lindsay Peat (38 caps) and Ciara Griffin (41 caps) return to the Barbarians and will be joined by Black Ferns 2017 Rugby World Cup winners Carla Hohepa and Eloise Blackwell.
These international stars will provide valuable insight and experience to five uncapped players, Beth Stafford, Christiana Balogun (both Bristol Bears), Kayleigh Searcy (Saracens), Katie Alder (Wasps) and Elizabeth Goulden (Gloucester-Hartpury).