The Barbarians recent took England all the way in a 51-43 thriller which featured 13 tries and 80 minutes of fast-paced, running rugby. Barbarians debutant James Horwill captained the side in his final professional rugby game, scoring the side’s first try at the home of English Rugby.

With the Barbarians returning to Twickenham on Saturday 16th November to play Fiji, in the first international match to be held in the UK after the Rugby World Cup, the former Harlequins, Australia and Barbarians captain explains what it means to represent the world’s most famous rugby club…

It’s a huge honour to be called up to play for the Barbarians. It’s a very special club, a very unique club and to be able to represent it and carry its legacy forwards is very important in rugby.

What the Barbarians stand for and the way they go about things is a great part of this sport and it’s the players’ job to do it justice.

Wimbledon Times:

The Barbarians is a throwback in many ways to what rugby used to be before the sport became professional. It’s still holding on to those amateur roots whilst pushing the professionalism and the playing style of the team. The players understand there is a way they want to play which is synonymous with Barbarian rugby. It’s the players’ responsibility to continue to play that way whilst trying to get the right result at the weekend.

Just look at the tradition and the people who have worn the shirt… Each shirt has the names of previous Baa-Baas etched into the number on the back. It gives you a huge appreciation of the history and the world class players which have been before you and it is the job of the current players to take that forwards.

When I come to look back on my rugby career, turning out for the Baa-Baas will rank pretty highly. I’d always wanted to play for the Barbarians and thought the opportunity had probably passed me by when I came around to retiring at the end of the season. To have had the opportunity to pull the famous black and white shirt on in the last week of my career was incredibly special.

Playing at Twickenham, a big stadium, with some great players, made it even better. It’s a great rugby venue with a lot of history and I’ve been lucky enough to play in front of sell-out crowds there with both my club team Harlequins and for Australia, against England. There aren’t many better rugby stadiums in the world.

It’s exciting to be able to play with a squad of players you haven’t played with before, particularly those you have played against a number of times. I’d played lots of rugby against the likes of Charles Piutau, John Afoa, Richard Hibbard and Francois Louw and it was exciting to come together as a great squad, with some unique talents. It’s what makes the Baa-Baas so great.

Wimbledon Times:

I even had the chance to go up against three of my Harlequins club mates in Marcus Smith, Joe Marchant and Alex Dombrandt which was fun. Those three guys hopefully have a big international future ahead of them and playing against the Barbarians gave them a huge opportunity to show what they’ve got.

Fans watching the Barbarians are going to see a few things they don’t usually see in top level rugby and they tend to have some tricks up their sleeves. The players like to have fun, play with a smile on their faces and enjoy the style of rugby they want to play. The fans are always entertained with plenty of tries and fast ball movement.

The Barbarians are coming back to Twickenham to play Fiji in November and that’s going to be a great game. It’s going to be a real exhibition-style game, the ball is going to be in play a lot and you’re not going to see much kicking! Anyone who wants to come and see some running rugby should get their hands on a pair of tickets for that game.

I’m still going to be based here in the UK following retirement so you never know, I technically would be available if the Baa-Baas need me for that one!

The Barbarians return to Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 16th November to play Fiji in the Killik Cup. Tickets are on general sale now from

with a special early bird offer and 50% off top price adult tickets for a limited time only