Amanda Thornborough was selected for the 2nd time for the Women’s Barbarian Rugby Team. The first time was for the inaugural women’s team for the first time in the club’s history, with a 19-0 victory against Munster on 10 November 2017. She and fellow Canada National Teammates Andrea Burk from Capilano RFC (Vancouver), and Julia Folk from Oakbay CW RFC (Victoria) will face the USA Eagles in Denver, Colorado on 26 Apr, and England at Twickenham on 2nd June.
The Barbarians or Baa-Baas for short is based out of Britain, play in black and white hoops, though players wear the socks from their own club strip. Membership is by invitation, and as of 2011, players from 31 countries had played for the Barbarians. Traditionally at least one uncapped player is selected for each match. It was started by William P Carpmael in 1890 in Leuchters Restaurant, Bradford, England: at a time when practically every club ceased playing in early March. There were no tours and players just “packed up” until the following season, but his scheme for collecting a touring side from all sources; to tackle a few leading clubs in the land, instantly received support from the best, and today this support is as strong as ever. His great idea that the Barbarian Club should be absolutely cosmopolitan with the aim of spreading good-fellowship amongst all rugby football players has been rigidly adhered to by those who have followed him in the management of the club. Membership is by invitation and the only qualifications considered when issuing an invitation are; that the player’s football is of a good enough standard and secondly that they act professional on and off the field. There is no discrimination whatsoever by race, colour or creed. That an immense amount of good has been done cannot be disputed. Players from different clubs and countries rarely had the opportunity of playing on the same side, they were always opponents, and the chance of now and again playing with, instead of against, one another was welcomed. Many invitational clubs are based on the Barbarians, including the French Barbarians, Australian Barbarians, New Zealand Barbarians and South African Barbarians. Quoting an article by long time Valkyrie Barbara Mervin, “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 Thornborough completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at St. Francis Xavier in NS. Originally from Brandon, Manitoba she has now experienced life on both sides of the country and now lives in Victoria and trains with Velox/Westshore Valkyries when she is not training with the Canada women. Amanda helped the National Women’s Sevens team to an undefeated win at the Hong Kong Sevens Tournament in 2013. Later that year she received her first National Senior Women’s Cap in at the 2013 Nations Cup. Amanda was also featured in the 2014 CAN-AM Series where Canada’s Women defeated USA. She was a member of Canada’s Women’s Rugby World Cup team that finished second at the 2014 WRWC, and the 2018 WRWC. Amanda has been a member of the Velox/Westshore RFC family since 2013.