A pair of Canadians will suit up for the famed Barbarians in a rugby doubleheader against Wales on Saturday at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Canada captain Tyler Ardron is set to make his third straight start for the men’s Barbarians, while Canadian international Brianna Miller will come off the bench for the women’s Baa-Baas.
The Barbarians, an invitational all-star side known for its free-flowing style of rugby, date back to 1890. The female Barbarians debuted in 2017 with former Canada captain Kelly Russell taking part in the inaugural match.
The matches mark the second-ever doubleheader for the Barbarians, whose men’s and women’s teams faced England in June. It’s a first meeting with the Welsh women for the Barbarians.
Ardron, a 28-year-old from Lakefield, Ont., plays his club rugby in New Zealand for the Gallagher Chiefs.
Miller is a scrum half and fullback with Canada and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC.
The matchday roster for the women’s Barbarians features players from Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States, Wales and Canada.
The squad features six Rugby World Cup veterans and more than 430 international caps.
The men’s game marks the international swan song for Ireland’s Rory Best and South Africa’s Schalk Brits. Ardron will be joined by players from Argentina, Australia, Fiji, France, Italy, New Zealand and Scotland.
Former Wales coach Warren Gatland will lead the Barbarians against his successor Wayne Pivac. Gatland will be assisted by former Australia coach Robbie Deans, now in charge of Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights.
Ardron also started in the Barbarians’ 33-31 loss to Fiji at Twickenham and captained the side to a 47-22 win over Brazil in Sao Paulo.
Other Canadians to have played for the Barbarians include World Rugby Hall of Famers Al Charron and Gareth Rees as well as Mark Wyatt, David Lougheed, Glen Ennis, Mike Schmid, Rod Snow, Dan Baugh, James Pritchard, Jason Marshall, Sean Duke and Kevin Tkachuk.
Stan McKeen captained the Barbarians against Bedford in 2011.
Once invited, a player becomes a life member of the famous club.
In the early 1960s, the Barbarians asked B.C.’s Douglas (Buzz) Moore to play against Canada while on tour in Britain. He declined, leading the Canadians to a 3-3 tie against the all-stars. The Barbarians made him an “honorary Barbarian.”