Barbarians take on England Women in Twickenham double-header

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The Barbarians will break more new ground when they take on England Women in a historic first match at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, June 2.

The famous invitation club is taking part in a double-header with the men’s side also taking on England for the Quilter Cup on a rugby-packed day that also includes the Gill Burns and Bill Beaumont Division 1 Finals.

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The Red Roses v Baa-baas play before the men with the game kicking off at 12.45pm.

The Barbarians women’s side was launched in October 2017 and made a winning start against both Munster and the Army. The game will act as preparation ahead of the Red Roses summer tour in July.

Rachel Taylor

Wales's Rachel Taylor in action for the Baa-baas against Munster

Barbarian FC Chairman John Spencer said: “The Barbarians successfully launched its women’s team two years ago to bring together talented individuals and create a team that plays with a unique spirit of adventure and enjoyment. 

"For them to face an international side is a great opportunity for the club to have two teams taking on England at Twickenham and means we can showcase all that is good about the game.”

England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: “Connecting both the men’s and women’s Barbarians fixtures at Twickenham Stadium is a great concept and will truly bring to life the women’s Barbarians.

“It provides us with an excellent opportunity to help us prepare for this year’s summer tour later that month.” 

The Quilter Cup, kicking off at 3.30pm, sees an England XV meet the Barbarians for the 18th time in what will be another hotly-contested fixture.

Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton on the attack against England in 2018

Last year’s men's game was a thriller — with the Baa-baas securing a record 63-45 win that saw a star-studded side score nine tries with Chris Ashton grabbing a first-half hat-trick. The Barbarians returned to action last November with another victory, seeing off Argentina 38-35 in another try-packed encounter.

Jim Mallinder will assume the role of England head coach for this match, with Eddie Jones overseeing the squad. The Quilter Cup will offer some players a final chance to make a case for selection for Japan. Fans can also expect to see some bright new prospects for the English game who would look to be pushing for inclusion over the next four years on the road to 2023.

Mallinder will be supported by a coaching team to be confirmed, which will be agreed as part of the coach development programme between England Rugby and Premiership Rugby.

Speaking about the fixture Mallinder said: “I’m really excited to be head coach of this England team.

“It’s an important fixture because any time you put the England shirt on you are representing your country and that is a huge honour. Eddie will have his eyes on a certain group, but this will be an opportunity for some players who are just outside of selection to show how talented they are.

“The unpredictability of the Barbarians makes it such an exciting fixture for supporters. As we have seen over the past few years they always bring a strong star-studded side and have an adventurous style of playing so we are going to have to be at our very best and are looking forward to the challenge.

“This isn’t just an opportunity for the players, but also for three coaches to experience coaching international rugby and I’m looking forward to working with them for this fixture.”

Eddie Jones added: “Our matches against the Barbarians have always been exciting fixtures to be involved with and a good way to finish the season on a high in front of a Twickenham crowd.  

"This match will see some exciting talent be given the opportunity to play against a Barbarians side who will no doubt be full of top-quality internationals. I look forward to working with Jim Mallinder in helping prepare the side for this match.”