Thu 19th February 15 :

Olympic Stadium set for historic first


The Barbarians and Samoa will go head to head at London's Olympic Stadium on 29 August in a historic first-ever rugby match at the Rugby World Cup 2015 venue.

Olympic Stadium set for historic first
The Barbarians will make London's Olympic Stadium their home for the first rugby match to be played at the iconic venue ahead of this year's Rugby World Cup.

The world famous invitation side have a number of high profile international matches throughout the year in celebration of their 125th anniversary, including this fixture against Samoa on 29 August at the Olympic Stadium.

The match will be delivered in partnership between the Barbarians, E20 Stadium LLP (a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council), and England Rugby 2015, tournament organisers for Rugby World Cup 2015.

The match is also part of England Rugby 2015's testing programme and will allow the organisers to trial aspects of match day delivery ahead of the venue hosting five Rugby World Cup 2015 matches, including the bronze final, later this year.


The Barbarians will field a high quality side of international stars when they take on Samoa, and the South Pacific Islanders will utilise the match as a final warm-up opportunity before opening their Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign against the USA at the Brighton Community Stadium on 20 September.

"It is a significant honour for the Barbarians to take part in the first rugby match at the Olympic Stadium," said Barbarians' President Micky Steele-Bodger.

"The match should be a great spectacle for supporters and we hope to light up the stadium with the Barbarians brand of rugby in our first match against Samoa."


Samoa coach Stephen Betham said: "It is a great privilege for the Samoan Rugby Union to play the Barbarians in the run-up to Rugby World Cup 2015. Not only will it be our first ever match against the Baa-baas, but at the Olympic Stadium too. It will certainly be an historical moment for us.

"The attacking flair of Barbarians rugby will be a good test for us to measure where we are at in our preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. The game will allow us to test our attack, defensive systems and final combinations, and is the ideal final dress rehearsal for Manu Samoa's Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign."


Debbie Jevans, England Rugby 2015 CEO, said: "We are delighted to add the Barbarians v Samoa match at the Olympic Stadium to our testing programme. As tournament organisers it is important that we stress test all our plans to ensure that we are fully prepared to deliver the tournament and we are pleased to be part of the first ever rugby match at the Olympic Stadium. We would like to thank the Barbarians and E20 Stadium LLP for their collaborative approach."

The Barbarians have so far announced four other fixtures in 2015. A Barbarians side will take on Heriots in Edinburgh on 21 April, before matches against Ireland at Thomond Park in Limerick on 28 May, and at Twickenham Stadium against England on 31 May, as well as Argentina on 21 November, all in celebration of their 125th anniversary.