Having made his Baa-Baas debut in their 48-38 win over a World XV at Twickenham last weekend, the 37-year-old has asked to play a half each for both sides in the first game between the two teams since 1994.
Jones made his Swansea debut against Carmarthen Quins on 24 April, 2004 and 19 years on will don their shirt once again having won three Grand Slams, played in 12 consecutive Tests for the British & Irish Lions, captained both Wales and the Lions and become the world’s most capped player with 170 international appearances.
“I don’t think it’s going to be his sign-off, he’s got a few miles to go yet,” said Baa-Baas coach, John Mulvihill.
“He’s done everything in the game for Wales and the Lions, 17 years as a professional Test player. He’s massive, people around the world know who Al is.
“You’ll probably see him in an All Whites jersey in the second half and he might lead out the Swansea team at half-time. I was taken aback that he wanted to play, but he said ‘it’s in my parish and I want to play against my team’.”
Jones will pack down in the Baa-Baas second row with his Ospreys teammate Bradley Davies and will have another old pal, Dan Lydiate in the back row behind him. Former Cardiff Rugby and Wales scrum half Lloyd Williams will get a run-out off the Baa-Baas bench before he joins Ealing Trailfinders this summer, while young Ospreys scrum half Harri Morgan is also included in the run-ons.
Barbarians: Damien Hoyland (Scotland); Tom Howe (Saracens), Rey Lee-Lo (Samoa), Billy Twelvetrees (England), Alex Wootton (Connacht); Stephen Shingler (Ealing), Lewis Jones (Dragons); Oli Kebble (Scotland), Kirby Myhill (Wales), Enrique Pieretto (Argentina), Bradley Davies (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Olly Robinson (Cardiff Rugby), Sione Vailanu (Tonga)
Reps: Elvis Taione (Tonga), D’Arcy Rae (Scotland), Murray McCallum (Scotland), Matthew Screech (Wales), Sam Cross (Wales), Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Wales), Billy Searle (Bath)
Swansea became the fourth Welsh club to play the Barbarians, after Cardiff, (1891), Newport (1893) and Penarth (1901) when they completed their Easter Tour itinerary in 1901. The Whites were very strong in those early encounters and won the first four fixtures between the two sides without conceding a point.
In fact, it took the Baa-Baas 16 games before hey notched their first victory, an emphatic 23-0 triumph in 1923. The tourists also won the last fixture, staged at St Helen’s on 18 October, 1994, by 39-17, to take a 41-39 lead in the 81 match series.
It’s all been leading to this.
The team that will make history against @Barbarian_FC has arrived.
Congratulations to all selected 👏🏼
— Swansea Rugby Club | #Whites150 (@SwanseaRFC) May 30, 2023
This is the report from the first meeting on East Monday, 9 April, 1901, which Swansea won 11-0 to make it three-out-of-three in their Easter matches having already beaten Rockliffe and Belfast College.
One of the Barbarian players is reported to have said after the game in 1901: “I shouldn’t like to play against Swansea very often, why it is harder chasing them than following the hounds, and the forward are all as strong as blacksmiths.”