It is a privilege and honour to be appointed club captain and I am very grateful to the committee, special mention to Ken Baguley and Ron Williams, for supporting me along the way.
Additional to our various schools programmes that we support, we also partnered up with the Auckland Rugby Union to initiate an Auckland Under 18s Barbarians teamto play the Northland Vikings Under 18s in September. This fixture enabled us to partner with Joe Blundell, ARU schools rugby development officer, to specifically select players from non-1A First XV schools. It allows these players to experience what the Barbarians are about and express themselves on the field like a Barbarian.
The game was played at Kaiwaka Sports complex. We lost the match against a well organised Vikings team38-17 but we were very proud of the boys’ efforts and commitment considering the short preparation time. It was the sixth match of their programme and their only win but we are motivated to be better prepared next year for what will become an annual fixture between thetwo clubs. I must thank those who assisted with coaching, managing and supporting the team, contributing to what was a wonderful experience for these players. We plan to host the Vikings next year in the Auckland region, so keen to return the favour for the team and Vikings members and supporters. We hope to also have a good representation from our Barbarians community when we confirm dates and venue.
This year also saw the return of a Barbarians (past and current senior players) team versus a schools team (Auckland East selection). This was led by Barbarians memberPita Alatini. It proved a great spectacle for those who attended the match at Pakuranga’s Bell Park, and a unique opportunity for players from both teams. A few old boys got to dust off cobwebs from their old boots and the school players got to play against past All Blacks, ex-internationals and current/past premier club players. The fixture allowed the Barbarians community to engage with the local community and was a wonderful experience for our young and older rugby players to share their experiences both on and off the field. It was a great occasion andopportunity to showcase the Barbarians philosophy in the place we know best, the grassroots level.
We have some exciting projects in the pipeline for 2019 so I do encourage you all to stay updated with our newsletters. On behalf of the Barbarians club and committee, we wish you all a safe and enjoyable festive season with family and friends.
New Zealand Barbarian Rugby Club