The origins of Barbarians Rugby came about in 1890 when WP Capmeal conceived an idea to form a club drawing rugby players from multiple other clubs, by invitation. This Barbarian squad was formed to play in the off-season against the top club teams of the day.
Integral to the spirit of Barbarian rugby is that the Barbarian Club should be absolutely cosmopolitan with the aim of spreading good-fellowship amongst all rugby football players.
It’s fitting then that the University of the Sunshine Coast hosts a rugby club as the Coast’s representative of the Barbarian spirit. Just as the University serves as a melting pot in the post-school years, accepting people from all over the world to further their education, so USC Barbarians Rugby accepts all-comers into the fellowship of rugby on the Coast.
A fine example of the Barbarians’ spirit is the USC Barbarians Under 16s squad, providing a game of rugby for players from nine of the Coast’s schools. The USC club is not aligned with any one school, making it a drawcard for players from all over the Coast.
The vast majority of this squad attend schools unable to field a side in the 15-a-side schools competition and not every body type is suited to 7s rugby. Therefore rugby clubs like the USC Barbarians are critical to the long-term health of Queensland and Australian rugby because they provide a game of 15-a-side rugby to players from non-traditional pathways.
Several players with the Under 16s side have been with USC for eight seasons or more, producing an undying loyalty to the spirit of Barbarian rugby. In turn the club has given these players a coaching and development pathway which wouldn’t have been available to them otherwise. To top it off, the coaching squad contains an Englishman, highly credentialed coach Gary Jones, a Zimbabwean, a New Zealander and an Aussie.
Australia prides itself on its egalitarianism. By taking players from all persuasions and economic circumstances, USC has successfully merged Aussie egalitarianism with the Barbarian spirit on the Sunshine Coast.
Vacancies still exist for players in most of USC’s squads with registrations open on the club’s website