Barbarians' Matt Giteau scores the first try against South Africa - AP Photo/Tom Hevezi

The Wallabies will open their 2009 season with an historic match against an international Barbarians side at the Sydney Football Stadium. The Australian Rugby Union are promising “some of the biggest names in the game” will be part of the first Barbarians side to play on Australian soil.

The Wallabies’ first game at the SFS in eight years will open their 2009 campaign on June 6, a week before the first Test against Italy in Canberra.

Australia have not played at the SFS since a 41-29 victory over the New Zealand Maori in 2001.

The one-off match will also be the first in the 60-year history of the Wallabies and Barbarians to be played in Australia.

Barbarians matches have traditionally been scheduled as tour finales for Wallaby tours to Europe, with nine games played between 1948 and 2001 before the concept was revived during this year’s Spring toure.

The Wallabies won that Wembley Stadium clash against a star-studded line-up 18-11 earlier this month.

“The success of that match hardened our resolve to finalise discussions with the Barbarians about them coming to Australia for the first time,” ARU boss John O’Neill said in a statement.

“Those negotiations also ensure us a Barbarians side of real quality, one that will help deliver a new experience to Australian sporting fans, and at a ground where our national team has not played for almost a decade.

“We’re very excited by this Barbarians venture. So too are the Barbarians.

“In terms of their playing personnel, the possibilities for the Barbarians are enticing.

“Without going into specifics, we’re confident this Barbarians team will have show-stopping appeal.

“The British and Irish Lions will be on tour to South Africa, but there are high profile All Blacks and Springboks, current members of the World Cup semi-finalists Argentina, and some very well-known Australian players tied to overseas clubs at present.

“The Pacific Islands have a number of players based in Europe who thrilled a global audience at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

“There is also a chance a number of extremely recognisable British and French players will be available.”

Australia will be the 22nd country in which the Barbarians have played matches.

“We have had a long-standing relationship with the Australian Rugby Union and, after hosting 10 games over a period of 60 years at iconic venues like Cardiff Arms Park, the Millennium Stadium, Twickenham and, earlier this month, the new Wembley Stadium, we now look forward to coming to Sydney to sample Australian hospitality and play some Barbarian-style rugby,” club president Micky Steele-Bodger said.

Australia have won their last six matches against the Barbarians, and seven of the 10 games played.

© AAP 2018

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The Crowd Says (37)

  • December 23rd 2008 @ 9:51am
    Mark said | December 23rd 2008 @ 9:51am | ! Report

    Ummm…I took a bunch of AFL guys to a Wallabies vs Barabrians game at Olympic Park in Melbourne around 1996. So not sure how this is their ‘first’ game in Australia.

    BTW it was a real Barbarians game, very loose & fast with some great runs by a huge Scottish lock. My mates were all astounded at the intensity of the tackling as we were very close to the sidlines so really heard the thuds of the tackles.

  • December 23rd 2008 @ 10:00am
    Robyn Brown said | December 23rd 2008 @ 10:00am | ! Report

    HELP
    I would like to obtain a copy of the last Baa Baas game against Wallabies, December, 2008. Does anyone know where I can obtain one?

  • December 23rd 2008 @ 10:16am
    Michael C said | December 23rd 2008 @ 10:16am | ! Report

    And the Barbarians have played a game against the wallabies more recently at Telstra dome – – reportedly a sea of read vs a sea of yellow in the crowd. I think that was back in 2002?

    Apparently, Mark, there might be something we don’t know about – perhaps a story yet to come to the surface about Sydney pushing Melbourne out of the Commonwealth of Australia so that this claim can be true at the Sydney Football Stadium. The Australian Rugby Union are promising “some of the biggest names in the game” will be part of the first Barbarians side to play on Australian soil

    or….are they suggesting the soil at both Olympic Park and Docklands stadiums was imported from off-shore?

  • December 23rd 2008 @ 10:18am
    Mark said | December 23rd 2008 @ 10:18am | ! Report

    Michael C – very funny. Maybe it was all the Kiwis in Melbourne, hang on ….there’ll be even more in Sydney….I put it down to marketing

  • December 23rd 2008 @ 11:54am
    Sam Taulelei said | December 23rd 2008 @ 11:54am | ! Report

    I’m a little sceptical about the ARU “promising” something they have no control over delivering. They still have a problem with the timing of the French domestic competition and possible impact on their touring side to Aus and NZ, the best of British will be preparing for the SA tour, which leaves expat Aussies, Kiwis and Bokkies, PI and Argie players so it’s really an invitation SH side and not a true Barbarians team.

    At least it will give the Wallabies a loosener to brush away the rust and cobwebs before their first international against Italy but if an Aussie side (or two) makes the Super 14 final they will only have a weeks recovery before the Baabaas game so the makeup of the Wallabies could also be affected by injuries.

    Something for the boys in marketing to spin and generate interest, where little could exist.

  • December 23rd 2008 @ 12:01pm
    Sam Taulelei said | December 23rd 2008 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

    Just read that the ARU are trying to entice Mark Gasnier and Sonny Bill Williams to be included in the BaaBaas side, that struck me as odd until I realised that State of Origin 1 is scheduled for June 3.

    Great way to divert attention away from league’s showpiece that week with their return and in the case of Sonny Bill, someone who will always command headlines, emotion and attention in both codes.

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