Article by Barbara Mervin

Amanda Thornborough is making history. This along with a roster of current and former international players from England, France, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Canada have been invited to partake in the first ever Barbarians Women’s match against Munster at Thomond Park in Limerick Ireland on Friday, November 10th.

A brief history lesson for those who do not know: Barbarians RFC (or the Baa-Baas) is a famous invitational travelling rugby team based out of the UK that was founded in 1890. In order to be selected a player must demonstrate a high standard of play and exhibit the integrity and sportsmanship that rugby embodies–Making Amanda Thornborough a perfect choice. Blending the different styles of so many international teams produces a unique style of rugby that is unmatched anywhere else the world. The dynamic style of play will be aptly matched with Amanda’s quick thinking and even quicker feet.

The Barbarians are classically outfitted in a traditional black and white striped jersey with a Barbarian insignia on the left chest. An interesting feature of the kit due to it being a travelling team with no home base is that each player wears the socks from their own home club, with Amanda. We are very excited that our APTOELLA girl will be taking a little piece of us with her as she along with the rest of those fabulous rugby players embarks on an adventure of a lifetime.

The introduction of this inaugural women’s side speaks to the growth of the women’s game and the demand for quality games following the high caliber of the Women’s World Cup in Ireland. This movement is bridging the gap between the men and women’s game and is developing a rugby community that is supportive of the sport regardless of the gender of the player. The Barbarians club has always tried to personify the incomparably inclusive and good-hearted culture of rugby and what better way to do that than after 127 years giving the women their chance in the legendary jersey.

Amanda is a great addition to the team with two World Cups under her belt, she has represented her country 23 times for XV’s, four times for the Seven aside game, and seven international tries all together. She helped the Canadian team achieve their best finish at the 2014 World Cup with a silver medal and a fifth place finish at the 2017 Word Cup that just wrapped up in August. The 5’5 center is an absolute powerhouse in the contact area, she sees the game extremely well and shows acute tactical leadership on whatever part of the pitch she finds herself. Anyone who has ever shared a pitch with Amanda, whether it is with or against her, can attest to her unwavering work ethic and commitment to her teammates. Amanda will be joined on this famous Barbarian squad by Canada’s XV’s Captain Kelly Russell.

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