Season review 2017-18: New Barbarians make their debut


The 2017-18 season was a stellar one for the Barbarians — one of the club’s greatest, packed full of highlights — and we’re showcasing each of the seven matches over the course of this week.

The Baa-baas scored 36 tries in seven games, ran up a record victory against England and produced some thrilling attacking rugby against New Zealand and Australia.

Today we celebrate the first appearance of the Barbarians women’s team, successfully launched with a 19-0 win over Munster at Thomond Park.



“You’re already legends of the game and this just confirms it,” Robbie Deans told the players as he presented them with their match jerseys. “There’s only one first team.”

And what a team. Head Coach Giselle Mather and manager Fiona Stockley assembled a squad that had amassed 1,019 international caps with Ireland’s Fiona Coghlan leading the side.

Seven different nationalities — scrum half Emma Jensen made the trip from New Zealand — and half-a-dozen former international captains took part.

Claire Cripps

Wasps and England prop Claire Cripps on the charge

Edel McMahon, the Galwegians flanker, was the uncapped player. She was later elevated to the Ireland international squad during the Six Nations.

The torrential rain in Limerick didn’t dampen their spirits either, although it restricted some of the attacking invention.

Ironically enough the first score was a penalty try awarded for some illegal scrummaging from Munster when their line was under threat.

The opening stages of the second half were equally tight as Munster kicked for territory until the Barbarians pulled away with two excellent scores.


The Barbarians celebrate their 19-0 win over Munster

Ailis Egan finished off a sustained attacking spell with Wales’s Rachel Taylor and France’s Lenaig Corson heavily involved during a drive into the left-hand corner before replacement hooker Egan forced her way over with Megan Goddard converting.

The third try was a classic fit for any Barbarians highlights reel. A turnover won on their own 22 was moved quickly down the left where Nora Stapleton and Christelle LeDuff combined to send England centre Georgina Roberts charging away from 40 metres out.

The Barbarians women’s team was up and running — with another outing to come in March and further fixtures planned for 2017-18.

BARBARIANS: Elen Evans (Caernarfon & Wales); Tova Derk (Wasps & Sweden), Vicki Jackson (Wasps & England), Megan Goddard (Gloucester-Hartpury & England), Jackie Shiels (Old Belvedere & Ireland); Christelle LeDuff (SO Villonguet & France), Emma Jensen (College Rifles & New Zealand); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians & Ireland, captain), Amy Garnett (Saracens & England), Claire Cripps (Wasps & England), Marie Reilly (Old Belvedere & Ireland), Lenaige Corson (Stade Rennais & France), Susie Brown (Richmond & Scotland), Rachel Taylor (Caernarfon & Wales), Kelly Russell (Toronto Nomads & Canada).

Replacements: Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere & Ireland), Tracy Balmer (Worcester & Scotland), Edel McMahon (Galwegians), Becky Essex (Richmond & England), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere & Ireland), Amanda Thornborough (Westshore & Canada), Georgina Roberts (Darlington MP Sharks & England), Tania Rosser (Blackrock & Ireland).