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  • The Barbarians RFC

    bigpicIt is probable that no other golf club in the world can lay claim to have hosted so many great rugby players from all over the world, because the famous Barbarians visited The Glamorganshire Club every Easter Sunday between 1901 and 1996 as part of their traditional Easter weekend touring fixtures against famous Welsh Clubs.

    The Baa-Baas played Penarth RFC on Good Friday, Cardiff RFC on Saturday, Swansea RFC on Easter Monday and Newport RFC on Tuesday. They spent all day Sunday at the Glamorganshire, playing their golf tournament under their unique rules and having a sing-song with Club members in the evening. During most of the 20th century the best rugby players in the world would have tasted the Club’s hospitality.

    Their Sunday 'official golf frolic' was regarded a major part of the Baa-Baas' legend and, in the eyes of most of their players, was almost of equal importance to the weekend's rugby. The competitive sporting drive of the rugby stars was as evident on the golf course as it was on any rugby field.

    According to the Barbarians' official web site:

    “The Barbarians are unique in that they have no ground, no clubhouse, no entry fee, no subscription, and the clubs they visit pay their expenses in the main. It is in every respect a touring club, for there are no ‘home’ matches. The nearest to a clubhouse was the spiritual home at Easter from 1901-1971, the Esplanade Hotel at Penarth where, as at The Glamorganshire Golf Club, players were cared for with great tolerance".

    In 1924-25 in recognition of the generosity of the The Glamorganshire, ninety five Barbarian members subscribed a total of 52.17s.0d for a 95-ounce perpetual silver cup called the Barbarians Challenge Cup, to be completed for annually by Club members on Easter Monday to commemorate the eagerly anticipated Easter visits by the Barbarians.


    The mounted head of a Springbok, presented to the Barbarians team after they defeated the South African national team in 1961, remains on display during summer months in the Club bar, whilst during the rugby season it has pride of place in the Penarth Athletic Club, the home of Penarth R.F.C..

    Alas, the arrival of professionalism in rugby means that the Easter Tour is no more but the magnificent Barbarians Challenge Cup, remains one of the most highly-prized trophies among the club’s annual competitions

 
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