Ticketmaster Groups recently caught up with three top international Rugby Union players, Dimitri Yachvili, Schalk Brits and Jim Hamilton, who were each selected for the Barbarians’ summer tour earlier this year. To give you a little taster of what to expect and why this a perfect day out for the sports enthusiasts in your group, we asked them about all things Barbarians, ahead of the mouth-watering Barbarians v Fiji clash taking place at Twickenham on Saturday 30 November.
Q: As a player, what does it mean to have the honour of being selected to play for the Barbarians?
Dimitri Yachvili - Position: Scrum-half
To me it’s a great honour to be with the Barbarians. It’s my first time with the Baa Baas, so I am very proud and very happy to play two very big international games with them, and with a lot of international players that I’ve played against, but never with, so I am very much looking forward to these games.
Schalk Brits - Position: Hooker
It’s always been an honour! It’s my fourth time wearing the Barbarians jersey and playing with amazing players, so it is always a dream come true. Since an early age, all the older rugby players told me, “go play for the Baa Baas!” and since then, every time I’ve got an invite, I’ve jumped at the opportunity. It’s just an amazing experience.
Jim Hamilton - Position: Lock
I think in any player’s career you obviously have massive highlights and this is a massive highlight for me. Being selected for a team with such history and tradition as the Barbarians – and the great players in the world that have worn that jersey in the past – has been a great honour for me.
Q: With Barbarians there is an extra element of fun and camaraderie within the team. Does this make it harder to be competitive?
Barbarians games are without pressure, because we play every week during the season with our club or with our national team - these games are with pressure - so this is a game where we’re able to have no real game plan, but can play what we know – play open rugby. There is no pressure, but with Barbarians we don’t like to lose!
No definitely not. You do have a lot of fun, there isn’t as much pressure and that gives you the freedom to express yourself on the pitch, where there isn’t that structure you would have with your local club or national side. For once it’s just like being back where you grew up and just playing against your mates and just taking the ball and running as much as you can. For me it’s just great to put on a Baa Baas jersey and have a go!
I don’t think so. I think we have to gel quickly – that’s probably the difference compared to playing for any other team. The guys in the group are well aware of what it means to play for the Barbarians and the tradition behind the jersey. With the talent that’s been picked for this tour – there are a lot of world-class players here – I am sure the guys will gel quite quickly.
Q: What can group bookers expect when they come to see a Barbarians game?
You can see very open rugby, you can see attacking from everywhere, and you can see very joyful players who are very happy to play together.
Well one thing is for sure, you’re going to see a lot of tries; you’ll see 15 guys on the pitch having some fun and players expressing themselves. It’s going to be a great day, so book and come and see what we’ve got to offer and we will entertain you!
A lot of tries (probably not from me!)! But obviously there’s exciting talent on show and a lot of running rugby; there isn’t as much structure in the Barbarians’ style of play and they usually pick players that are very good runners with the ball, and I think with the players we have in this squad you’ll see that. As I said, I am not one of them, but I am there to assist them with the tries!
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