Barbarians will field a women’s side


The Barbarians will field a women's side this season and hope to take women's rugby "to a different level", it has been announced.

Founded in 1890, the famous invitation club has fielded some of the greatest male players of all time.

The women's team will play Munster in November before taking on club, provincial and international sides.

"We're delighted to open a new chapter in the Barbarian FC's history," Barbarians chairman John Spencer said.

Players from seven different nations will represent the Barbarians against Munster at Thomond Park on 10 November.

Susie Brown (Scotland), Fiona Coghlan (Ireland), Claire Cripps and Megan Goddard (England), Elen Evans (Wales), Emma Jenson (New Zealand), Christelle Le Duff (France) and Kelly Russell (Canada) will all play and share 440 international caps between them.

England World Cup winner Giselle Mather will be head coach and Fiona Stockley is the team manager.

"The Barbarians are one of the reasons I fell in love with rugby and to be coaching this side is a massive honour," said Mather.

"The state of the women's game is phenomenal at the moment following events like the World Cup and the launch of the Premier 15s in England.

"With the Barbarians coming in on top of that it's taking the game to a different level."

The Women's Sport Trust are backing the Barbarians women's team and say it marks a significant development in women's sport.

"Women's rugby has made great strides in 2017 in terms of high-quality competition, investment and infrastructure," said Sport Trust Joint CEO Jo Bostock.

"It is a further indication of the progress of women's sport as a whole."