Barbarians grow broadcast audience with return to BBC TV

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THE Barbarians return to BBC TV when they take on Argentina at Twickenham this season to connect with more fans and renew a historic link with the broadcaster.

The Killik Cup will put the world famous invitation side in front of a widespread free-to-air audience on BBC Two on Saturday, December 1. 

The live coverage renews a long association between the club and the BBC, including the classic 1973 match against New Zealand containing Gareth Edwards’s iconic try.

Barbarians chairman John Spencer said: “We’re delighted to be renewing our partnership with the BBC for this match which gives us the chance to showcase the excitement and enjoyment for which the Barbarians are famous. 

"It’s a reflection of the enduring relevance and status of the club and we’re sure it will help us connect with a new generation of fans."

Malakai Fekitoa

The Barbarians lit up Twickenham against England this year

The Barbarians side will be coached by South Africa’s Rassie Erasmus and include international players from around the world such as current Springboks Eben Etzebeth, Handre Pollard and Tendai Mtawarira who featured in the squad that recently beat New Zealand.

The club enjoyed a vintage 2017-18 with internationals against Australia, New Zealand and Tonga as well as a record 63-45 win over England in May. 

BBC Head of TV Sport Philip Bernie, said: “Welcoming the Barbarians back to the BBC further strengthens our Autumn Internationals programme, which also includes live coverage of Wales and Scotland matches plus extended England highlights.

“The Barbarians lit up Twickenham when beating England back in May and their attacking brand of rugby should make for an exciting contest against an Argentina side which has already defeated Australia and South Africa in this year’s Rugby Championship.”  

Jonathan Davies

Jonathan Davies is a former Baa-baas player. Photo: BBC Pictures

Andrew Cotter and Jonathan Davies will lead the commentary team on December 1.

Davies is a distinguished former Barbarians player — the ex-Wales fly half appeared five times for the club between 1986 and 1996 scoring 21 points.

The Barbarians last live TV appearance across the BBC network was the victory over New Zealand in 2009. The Barbarians’ matches against Wales in 2011 and 2012 were broadcast by BBC Wales.