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Stellar squad assembled for return of Barbarian Women

Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap

Two years on from Barbarian Women beating South Africa Women’s XV 60-5 in front of a then-record crowd of 29,581 at Twickenham Stadium, the club has announced the Women’s side will be embarking on a two-match – and two hemisphere – autumn tour.

With 631 caps from eight nations and featuring Rugby World Cup winners as well as Premier 15s champions, the squad of 24 will be coached by Premier 15s-winning Gloucester-Hartpury Sean Lynn, the King of Hartpury, who will prepare Barbarian Women for two fixtures: South Africa and Munster.

He will be assisted by former Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap while Welsh duo Elinor Snowsill and Gemma Rowland are among the players selected.

Lillicrap said: ‘It is a huge honour for me to have the opportunity to work with the Barbarians.

“It’s an unique opportunity to work with players from all over the world who have been incredible influencers and servants to the women’s games, especially former team mates and friends Elinor Snowsill and Gemma Rowland.

“It’s made even more special by being part of Sean’s coaching team. Sean was my last coach during my playing career (Gloucester Hartpury) but he also is a Welshman from the same rugby club as me growing up – Waunarlwydd RFC. This makes it even more special.”

Barbarian Women team founder and Barbarian Committee member Fiona Stockley said: “I am absolutely thrilled to get Barbarian Women back on the road. Two years on from our historic match at Twickenham against South Africa Women’s XV, it will be very exciting to go down to Cape Town for the return fixture – a city with so much passion for our game.

“And then onto Munster, which holds a special place in my heart as the venue for the first-ever Barbarian Women’s match. I’m sure both sides will be looking to overturn the last score-lines and we are looking forward to coming together, bonding as a squad and putting on two great shows of rugby.”

The squad travels to Cape Town first for a return fixture, playing South Africa Women’s XV on Saturday 23 September at Athlone Stadium, kick-off 4.30pm, with the South African side keen to show the Barbarians what they can do on home turf.

From Cape Town, Barbarian Women head back to the northern hemisphere to face last year’s Interprovincial Champions Munster as part of a double header with the men’s side. This occasion marks six years since the Barbarian Women’s inaugural match, also against Munster at Thomond Park. As the first place where women ran out in the famous Black and White, the Club is proud they are returning alongside the men’s side for a repeat fixture.

And no doubt Munster will be looking to reverse the 19-0 scoreline from 2017! Both matches take place at Thomond Park, with Barbarian Women kicking off at 2pm and Barbarian Men following at 4.30pm.

Featured in the squad are some world-class legends of the women’s game. England veteran and Rugby World Cup 2014 winner Vicky Fleetwood (82 caps) and Wales’ Elinor Snowsill (76 caps) join Patricia Garcia Rodriguez, capped 42 times for Spain XVs and 384 for Spain 7s, and Italy’s most-capped player Sara Barratin.