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Coventry Meet The Barbarians

The world famous invitation rugby team The Barbarians makes a rare visit to Coventry tonight as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

It will be a special occasion for Coventry’s chairman Keith Fairbrother, because he played for the club against the Baa Baas, at Coundon Road in the 100th anniversary match.

Also in that team was Peter Rossborough, Coventry’s current coach, and the club president Jim Broderick.

Fairbrother and Rossborough also played several times for the Baa Baas, selection for which is always considered to be one of the greatest honours among rugby players.

The world’s leading players have travelled huge distances to play for what is purely an invitation side with no club or ground facilities of its own.

There will be several famous foreigners in the side at Coundon Road tonight, as well as six current UK internationals and Derek Eves, the former director of rugby at Coventry, who is now back at the club as a player after a short spell with his former club Bristol.

Eves played for England at ‘A’ level when he was in his peak as a player and his selection for the Baa Baas is considered to be a reward for his efforts in a long playing career followed by his success at Coventry.

Fairbrother says:

"It should be a wonderful occasion. Barbarians’ teams are specially selected for their attacking flair and the crowds go along to see exciting rugby.

"When I played against the Baa Baas at Coventry, the club had thirteen internationals in the team. We do not have that many this time, but we have selected what we think is our strongest side.

"We hope we can produce a performance which will line us up to win our next four league matches against West Hartlepool, Moseley, Worcester and Wakefield."

Tonight’s match kicks off at 7.30 p.m. and the clubroom will include a giant television screen for those spectators who want to keep up with the England soccer international against Argentina.

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CWN / Sport / Rugby / Coventry RFC / 23 Feb 00

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