Barbarians next on parade against Army at Aldershot


Giselle Mather will take charge of the Barbarians for the second women’s match in the club’s history against the Army next month. The Wasps Director of Rugby coaches the team for the clash at Aldershot on Saturday, March 17 (15:00) where admission is free.

Mather will draw on a mix of experienced and up-and-coming players from the Tyrrell’s Premier 15 clubs as well as some of the veterans who helped the Barbarians launch their women’s programme with a win against Munster last November.

The team’s ability to develop young talent has been underlined during the Six Nations with Connacht flanker Edel McMahon stepping up to make her Ireland debut.

"We’re looking predominantly at Tyrrell’s Premier 15 players who fit the bill when we’re putting together another group of players and there will be some continuity from the previous squad too,” said Mather. 

Edel McMahon


"It’s an opportunity to build on what the Barbarians started in Ireland and bring another group together very quickly.

"Edel McMahon, who was our uncapped player against Munster, has gone on to make her first appearance in an  Ireland squad since then and I’m sure being part of the Barbarians helped her develop. 

"There will be many others who want to follow in her footsteps because the Barbarians can be a stepping stone between club and international rugby. 

"At the same time there will be experienced players showing them the way so from my own club I’ll be putting forward someone like Claire Purdy, who’s a wise head and a fabulous leader.”

The Barbarians fielded a cosmopolitan side with seven different nationalities represented as they opened their account at Thomond Park with a 19-0 victory with a penalty try and touchdowns from Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere & Ireland) and Georgina Roberts (Darlington MP), with one converted by Megan Goddard (Gloucester Hartpury & England).

Giselle Mather


"We created something really special in Ireland and we’re developing our own part of the Barbarians tradition,” added Mather, who emphasised the magic associated with the club by wielding a Harry Potter wand at training sessions.

"I hope that in 30 years time the Barbarians will still be doing these things and I know there’s a tremendous buzz among the players who want to be a part of it.

"The Army are preparing for huge games against the Navy and the RAF so we’re part of a really important point in their season. They’ve already played Germany and Holland this season, and I know that playing the Barbarians is something they’re really excited about.”