The Welsh Rugby Union today confirmed the fixture that will pay tribute to the world’s most-capped player and former Wales captain, as well as provide a homecoming for Wales after the Rugby World Cup in France.
A host of other star names are also set to feature for the Baa-Baas with further announcements due to be made soon and the game will pit Warren Gatland and his coaching team against Australia’s Eddie Jones and New Zealand’s Scott Robertson, who will lead the opposition from the coaches box.
The match will offer rugby fans from all over the globe the chance to pay homage to one of the greatest warriors the game has ever witnessed and give
Wales head coach Gatland a chance to build on the World Cup experience, as he prepares his side for the 2024 Guinness Six Nations campaign.
“Principality Stadium is one of the best places in the world to play rugby and when you add the passion and fervour of a Welsh crowd and the unique and exciting brand of rugby the Barbarians are famous for, we have a match in prospect that will be the envy of fans around the globe,” said current Wallabies boss Eddie Jones.
Now playing for Toulon in the Top 14, Alun Wyn Jones won 158 caps for Wales and a further 12 for the British & Irish Lions on four tours between 2009-2021, making him the world’s most-capped player with 170 caps.
He captained Wales 48 times, led the Lions in the third Test in Australia in 2013 and in the three Tests in South Africa in 2021.
Twice nominated for the World Rugby Player of the Year award in 2015 and 2019 he was named as the best player of the 2019 Six Nations Championship after leading Wales to Grand Slam glory.
“Alun Wyn will have been the first name on many team sheets for many years and I’m not only looking forward to meeting him and coaching him, but also watching him in his final dance with a passionate crowd!” said Crusader’s coach, and future All Blacks head coach, ‘Razor’ Robertson.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be asked to coach the Barbarians and I can’t think of a better place to do it than in Cardiff, against Wales.”
Alun Wyn Jones is one of seven post-war Wales players to have won three Grand Slams, along with Ryan Jones, Adam Jones, Gethin Jenkins, JPR Williams, Gerald Davies and Gareth Edwards, and one of 13 all tolled when you add in Johnny Williams, Billy Trew, Dickie Owen, George Travers, Jim Webb and Tom Evans, who were the trailblazers with successes in 1908, 1909 and 1911.
He made his Barbarians debut in the game against a World XV at Twickenham earlier this year after retiring from Welsh international rugby and also turned out for the famous invitational side against his first senior club, Swansea.
“The fixture will be a chance to see the Wales squad back on home soil after what we all know will be an exciting campaign in France,” said WRU Group commercial and legal director, Rhodri Lewis.
“It will also be an opportunity to welcome some familiar faces back to Principality Stadium, with Alun Wyn already signed up as the first name on the team sheet for the Baa-Baas and an exciting coaching team of Eddie Jones and Scott Robertson taking charge of the visitors.
“The game will have a celebratory feel to it because of the personnel involved. It will be a chance to say thank you to some of Welsh rugby’s most loyal servants.
“This will be a game to relish.”
Tickets for the Barbarians game will go on public sale for the first time on 21st September, priced at £60, £40 and £20 with a 50% discount available across all categories for children under 17-years-old. Sign up to ticketing updates at www.wru.wales/barbarians2023 .
Debenture holders and Premium members can access tickets now and tickets will be available from member clubs from 5 September.
Supporters wishing to purchase hospitality for the Barbarians fixtures, should visit WRU.WALES/VIP now.
For Parkgate Hotel Bed & Breakfast packages, to book or for more information please visit https://www.theparkgatehotel.wales
Official off-site hospitality packages are available via Events International https://eventsinternational.co.uk and Official Travel Packages are available through Gullivers Sports Travel https://gulliverstravel.co.uk/event/wales-v-barbarians-0
The WRU official Supporter Exchange can be found here https://welshrugbyticketexchange.seatunique.com/
WALES V BARBARIANS – THE FULL LOW DOWN
P10 Wales 5 Barbarians 5
Tests: P4 Wales 2 Barbarians 2
30 November 2019: Wales XV 43 – 33 Barbarians
02 June 2012: Wales 30 – 21 Barbarians
04 June 2011: Wales 28 – 31 Barbarians
26 May 2004: Wales XV 42 – 0 Barbarians
31 May 2003: Wales XV 35 – 49 Barbarians
29 May 2002: Wales XV 40 – 25 Barbarians
20 May 2001: Wales XV 38 – 40 Barbarians
24 August 1996: Wales 31 – 10 Barbarians
06 October 1990: Wales 24 – 31 Barbarians
17 April 1915: Wales XV 10 – 26 Barbarians
30 November 2019: Wales Women’s XV 15 – 29 Women’s Barbarians
Current Wales forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys captained Wales in a full international against the Baa-Baas in Cardiff in 1996 and Wales team manager Martyn Williams will remember that day because it was the first of his 100 caps for Wales.
Also included in that team was Gareth Llewellyn, whose son Max made his senior Wales debut in the 20-9 World Cup warm-up win over England last weekend.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN – WALES 10 – 26 BARBARIANS, 17 April, 1915
The first meeting between the two teams was at Cardiff Arms Park and was termed as a Military International between ‘Wales and England’. It was, however, the Barbarians who took the field with two Irishmen and one Welshman joining 12 English players.
While Wales used eight forwards, the Barbarians used seven and played an extra back! The match was arranged to boost recruitment for the Welsh Guards and raise money for the War effort. It succeeded on both counts as stirring appeals during the interval saw many Welshmen enlist and over £200 being raised.
As for the match – in which Wales did not cap – the fiery forward, Rev Alban Davies, was the home captain and indeed already an Army chaplain. He led a side made up of 13 capped players and another, Tom Parker of Swansea, who went on to gain 14 caps. The lone player never to win a cap was Cardiff forward Dan Callan (a Munster fusilier), who played when Tom Williams of Swansea withdrew.
The Welshman who appeared in the Barbarians side was actually a South African international, Joseph Partridge, known as ‘The Bird’. Born in Abergavenny in 1879, he went to Dulwich College and played for Newport, Blackheath (skipper in 1906) and London Welsh.
Partridge was a lieutenant in the Welsh Regiment in the Boer War and joined Pretoria Harlequins then the Transvaal and was capped by the Springboks against the British Team of 1903. Later a lieutenant-colonel in the British Army, he died in Abergavenny in 1965 at the age of 86.
WALES: R Williams; I T Davies, W H Evans, J Wetter, B Lewis; Clem Lewis, T Vile; T Lloyd, Rev A Davies (captain), D Callan, W Jenkins, Percy Jones, D Watts, Edgar Morgan, T Parke.
Tries: B Lewis, I T Davies. DG: Clem Lewis
BARBARIANS: G Wood; E Butcher, J Birkett, E Mobbs (captain), J Minch, J Quinn; A Horan, H Higgins; G Roberts, J Partridge, A Bull, A Osbourn, G Kidman, M Atkinson, L Davies
Tries: J Quinn 2, A Bull, J Minch, A Horan, J Birkett
Cons: E Butcher 2, G Roberts 2
W M Douglas (Cardiff)
LAST TIME OUT – WALES XV 43 – 33 BARBARIANS, 30 November 2019
New Wales head coach Wayne Pivac began his tenure with victory over his predecessor Warren Gatland, who was in charge of the Baa-Baas, as Wales won an 11-try encounter.
Try doubles from wing Josh Adams and hooker Ken Owens were complemented by a score from Scarlets wing Johnny McNicholl, making his first Wales start in this uncapped fixture. Replacement scrum-half Gareth Davies also crossed, while full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked 13 points.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets); Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues); Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Tomas Williams (Cardiff Blues); Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (captain, Ospreys), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
Reps: Elliot Dee (Dragons), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Leon Brown (Dragons), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Sam Davies (Dragons), Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues)
Scorers: Tries: J Adams 2, K Owens 2, J McNicholl, G Davies Cons: L Halfpenny 5 Pen: L Halfpenny
Barbarians: Shaun Stevenson (Waikoto Chiefs / Maori All Blacks); Dillyn Leyds (Stormers / South Africa), Mathieu Bastareaud (Lyon / France), Andre Esterhuizen (Natal Sharks / South Africa), Cornal Hendricks (Blue Bulls / South Africa); Curwin Bosch (Natal Sharks / South Africa), Bryn Hall (Crusaders / Maori All Blacks); Campese Maafu (Leicester Tigers / Fiji), Rory Best (captain, Ulster / Ireland), Wiehahn Herbst (Blue Bulls), Luke Jones (Melbourne Rebels / Australia), Tyler Ardron (Waikoto Chiefs / Canada), Pete Samu (ACT Brumbies / Australia), Marco van Staden (Blue Bulls / South Africa), Josh Strauss (Stade Francais / Scotland)
Reps: Schalk Brits (Blue Bulls / South Africa), Craig Millar (Sunwolves), Hencus van Wyk (Sunwolves), George Biagi (Zebre / Italy), Angus Cottrell (Melbourne Rebels), Jano Vermaak (Stormers / South Africa), Billy Meakes (Melbourne Rebels), Matt Duffie (Auckland Blues / New Zealand)
Scorers: Tries: J Strauss, C Bosch, S Stevenson, C Millar, P Samu Cons: C Bosch 4
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)