By Tom Jenkins
With the Barbarians taking on the 2015 World Cup winners – the mighty All Blacks – at Twickenham as part of the Autumn International series, our photographer Tom Jenkins was given exclusive access as the invitational team prepared for the big match
The Barbarians were formed in 1890 by a player from Blackheath, London, called William Percy Carpmael. At that time the rugby season finished in March so he decided to invite a group of players to join him on an end-of-season tour to the north of England. This he saw as an opportunity to play with friends from various clubs who were normally opponents. It was such a success that he formed the Barbarian Football Club to continue touring on an informal basis and the first tour took place in December of that year, playing Huddersfield and Bradford. The original ethos is still in place, with the Barbarians being a team which brings together players from different clubs to play a few matches each year to enjoy the camaraderie of the game and play attacking, adventurous rugby without the pressure of having to win. Carpmael's dream was to spread good fellowship amongst all players where all the things that are great about the game – flair, courage, spirit and passion – could be encapsulated in one team, who exist for the joy of the game and having fun.