Wales will take on the Barbarians for the first time since 2012 in what will be incoming head coach Wayne Pivac’s first match in charge of Wales on November 30 in a double-header with the famous invitational side also featuring Wales Women.
Pivac, who will take over the Welsh reins following this year’s Rugby World Cup, will oversee his side for the first time in Cardiff and will be up against his predecessor in his opening match with Warren Gatland named as head coach of the Barbarians for the fixture.
Gatland, who has been at the helm of Wales for the past 12 years will leave his role following the conclusion of this autumn’s RWC but will make an immediate return to the Welsh capital and the Principality Stadium for the clash.
For Wales Women it will be a first-ever outing against the Barbarians in what will be a showcase of Welsh rugby in Cardiff.
The Barbarians launched a women’s side back in 2017 and have had a heavy Welsh flavour in each team that has taken to the field since but this will be the first time Wales Women face the famous side in black and white hoops.
Alisha Butchers, Jasmine Joyce and Elinor Snowsill played in the side’s thrilling 34-33 win over USA in April, Joyce scoring four tries and Joyce and Snowsill were again in the starting XV for the 40-14 loss to England last weekend.
Former Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor will take over as Barbarians forwards coach for this match from another Welsh great in Liza Burgess.
Wales Women head coach Rowland Phillips said, “Playing the Barbarians for the first time in a double header at Principality Stadium is a huge statement of intent for women’s rugby in Wales.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase our game and shows how women’s rugby is moving forward.
“We saw the quality of the Baa-baas’ side in their recent matches against USA and England and they will no doubt bring a formidable outfit to the home of Welsh rugby in November. They have a historical tradition of playing an open, entertaining brand of rugby which will produce an exciting match to watch and be part of.
“It has been a huge honour to have three current Wales players – Elinor Snowsill, Jazz Joyce and Alisha Butchers – involved in the Barbarians’ first two international games. All three made an excellent contribution to the club. It’s also great to see two Welsh coaches involved – Liza Burgess in recent matches and now Rachel Taylor. Rachel played in the Barbarians’ first match in 2017 and is cutting her teeth in coaching as Colwyn Bay head coach.”
Commenting on his return to Principality Stadium as Barbarians head coach, Gatland said:
“This is set to be a very special and hugely exciting double-header.
“It will be an honour to coach the Barbarians, they symbolize the very best of rugby tradition and are an important part of the international game and I’m hugely looking forward to being part of the Baa-baas club.
“It goes without saying that this match has huge significance to me. Wales has been my home for the last 12 years and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
“We have had some great success with Wales and we are currently in a hugely important year, culminating at the Rugby World Cup.
“To have the opportunity to return to Cardiff post Rugby World Cup 2019 is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to coaching the Barbarians in what I believe is the best rugby stadium in the world and against the best fans in the world!”
The fixture will kick off Pivac’s reign as Wales coach and he added: “It is fantastic this double-header has been announced and the day will be a great showcase for Welsh rugby.
“The Barbarians are a special side and it will be a great way to start my Wales career facing the BaaBaas and of course, Warren!
“Wales have an important five months ahead of them with the Rugby World Cup on the horizon but post that tournament, I’m looking forward to kicking off my tenure with Wales, at home in Cardiff, in what will be a really special game.
“It is an opportunity for us as coaches to get the squad together ahead of the Six Nations and it will be a great day for all the fans with two great matches on show.”
Broadcast details and KO times for both matches will be announced in due course.
Tickets for Wales’ Under Armour Summer Series fixtures against England (Saturday 17th August KO14.15 – only limited tickets available) and Ireland (Saturday 31st August KO14.15) are still available via wru.co.uk/tickets.
Wales defeated Barbarians 30-21 last time they met in June 2012 as they said farewell two Williamses, Martyn and Shane. Dragons wings Aled Brew and Will Harries played for Wales, whilst Adam Warren came on for his Wales international debut.Tickets for the double-header with Barbarians will go on sale to WRU member clubs and debenture holders in the following days with a public on sale date scheduled for August. Ticket prices will range from £10 to £50 for adults with £10 tickets for U16’s also available.
This is set to be a very special and hugely exciting double-header