FORMER Scotland international Megan Gaffney has described being selected for Barbarian Women as “really special”.

The world-famous invitational side brings together some of the best rugby players from across the globe to play a few matches each year.

The Barbarians enjoy the camaraderie of the game while playing attacking, adventurous rugby without the pressure of having to win.

A women’s version of the long-established Barbarians played its first game in October 2017 and has since gone on to take on England, Wales and South Africa.

Gaffney, who stepped away from international rugby earlier this year, said: “It is really special.

“It is not something many people get to do.

“When I retired from international rugby, I did not know if I would play at that level.

“To get this opportunity to have a go – and it is just fun – is why I play rugby at the end of the day. To be able to go and do that will be really exciting.”

The women’s squad is made up of 24 players from eight nations and with 631 caps between them.



Rugby World Cup winners as well as Premier 15s champions will be coached by Premier 15s-winning Gloucester-Hartpury head coach Sean Lynn, who will prepare the team for the fixtures against South Africa and Munster.

The squad travel to Cape Town in South Africa for the first fixture next Saturday (September 23).

Coincidentally, the last Barbarian Women’s fixture was against the same opponents – on that occasion, the Baa-Baas came out 60-5 winners at Twickenham.

From there, they head to Ireland to take on Munster at Thomond Park on September 30.

Gaffney, of North Berwick, called time on her Scotland career in February following the Rugby World Cup.

READ MORE: Megan Gaffney announces retirement from international rugby

She told Courier Sport that playing at both the Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games meant that she had “done everything that I wanted to do”.

She said: “Being a part of the team that got back to the Rugby World Cup after 12 years away is special.

“Playing at the Commonwealth Games was something I always wanted to do. Even when I was really young, I wanted to go for athletics and to get there was great.

“I actually had quite a bad shoulder injury before and to turn that round and compete – I did not think it was going to happen.”

The 31-year-old, who also played for Scotland Women 7s, represented Scotland at both under-18 and under-20 level before going on to make her senior debut against the Netherlands in November 2011.

She would go on to represent her country on 45 occasions.



Fiona Stockley, Barbarian Women team founder and Barbarian Committee member, was looking forward to the double header.

She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to get Barbarian Women back on the road. Two years on from our historic match at Twickenham against South Africa Women’s XV, it will be very exciting to go down to Cape Town for the return fixture – a city with so much passion for our game. And then onto Munster, which holds a special place in my heart as the venue for the first ever Barbarian Women’s match.

“I’m sure both sides will be looking to overturn the last scorelines and we are looking forward to coming together, bonding as a squad and putting on two great shows of rugby.”