The Rugby World Cup is the sports biggest spectacle, and draws millions of fans from around the world – but what if it were to introduce a wild card team of Barbarians.

The idea would be to select the players either not selected by their respective countries, or discarded at the last minute during squad culls. This would mean the players would already have done the necessary fitness and skills work, it would then simply be a case of spending the final few weeks of preparation getting them to gel as a team and learning the various set plays.

Let’s not forget, the Barbarians have beaten the likes of Fiji in recent years, in addition to non-cap English and Irish sides, whilst also running the Wallabies close. The other bonus is that if countries suffered injuries, there players would already be fully match fit when called upon thank to having been already playing as part of the Barbarians squad.

Just imagine a team like this running out at the Rugby World Cup;


15.Israel Dagg

14.Sinoti Sinoti

13.James O’Connor

12.Christian Leali’ifano

11.Charles Piutau

10.Danny Cipriani

9.Mike Phillips

8.Pierre Spies

7.Steffon Armitage

6.Ben Mowen

5.James Horwill

4.Jim Hamilton

3.Salesi Ma’afu

2.Dylan Hartley

1.Alex Corbisiero

16.Richard Hibbard

17.Thomas Domingo

18.Adam Jones

19.Marco Bortolami

20.George Smith

21.Nic White

22.James Hook

23.Nick Abendanon


Whilst it’s not exactly a team that’s going to win the World Cup, it’s a side that could certainly give the top tier nations more of a challenge than some of the other minnows would offer. It is also a team that would play the kind of open expansive rugby that could really light up the World Cup rather than some of the snooze fests likely to be endured during the pool stages.

What do you think to the idea of a combined squad like this?