Photo story: Behind the scenes with the Barbarians women’s team


The Barbarians welcomed a photographer to go behind the scenes as they prepared to field a women’s team for the first time. Naomi Baker from Getty Images joined the players in Ireland to find out how women from eight different countries met, bonded, trained and prepared to play against Munster at Thomond Park.

The result was an exceptional set of images that captured the excitement and enjoyment of the players and management who created their own unique take on what it means to be part of rugby’s most famous club.

Among the highlights were 23 players carrying their own individual mascots, the rules enforced by the team’s 'Shaun Police' and a coach waving a Harry Potter wand to emphasise the magic she wanted to create on the pitch.

Naomi’s pictures from the meeting rooms and training grounds document the intimacy of the team environment in a striking and vivid style. We’ve picked out our favourites from the the time they spent together before making their debut.

Getting to grips with the Barbarians rules

Jackie Shiels
Jackie Shiels listens in at the first team meeting

Tova Derk's ankle is strapped ahead of the first of two training sessions
Marie Reilly
Marie Reilly keeps an eye on the progress of a lineout session
Megan Goddard
Megan Goddard reflects the upbeat mood in the camp at training

Giselle Mather
Coach Giselle Mather, complete with wand for extra Barbarians' magic, addresses the squad

Nora Stapleton
Nora Stapleton gets the backline moving in training
Vicki Jackson
Scotland's Susie Brown, teacup in hand, and England's Vicki Jackson

Changing Room
The empty changing room at Old Crescent RFC in Limerick

Amanda Thornborough
Amanda Thornborough heads out for training

A scrum session under the guidance of assistant coach Liza Burgess

Real shirts
Shirts ready for presentation to the team by men's coach Robbie Deans

Jackie Shiels and Georgina Roberts pose for a picture after the shirt presentation