Barbarians RFC Rugby Union Club founder W.P. Carpmael led a touring team to the North of England in 1890. This was before the formation of this famous Invitation XV team. Carpmael’s team had played four matches on their Easter tour. They beat Burton, drawing with Moseley. Won against Wakefield Trinity. And lost to the newly crowned Yorkshire Cup holders, Huddersfield. Carpmael’s touring side was a genuine scratch team. It was known variously as Carpmael’s London Team whilst playing Burton. The Blackheath Team at Moseley. W.P. Carpmael’s County and International Team when playing Wakefield Trinity. And The Southern Nomads by Huddersfield.

Barbarians RFC Rugby Union Formation

There is one occasion of this northern tour that has become an established part of Barbarian folk-lore. And that is the renowned Oyster Supper. It is certain that Carpmael’s team was based for that April tour at the Alexandra Hotel in Bradford. And after the match at Huddersfield, the final game, the players returned to their hotel. Having no doubt downed a pint or two. The party went out in high spirits for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Their meal was taken at Leuchter’s Restaurant in the New Market Hall area at No 7 Darley Street.

The establishment was owned by Charles H. Leuchter. It later became the Cafe Royal, then in 1906, it was sold to Furriers and Ladies Outfitters Kino’s. Sadly in 1974, the whole site was demolished. It was this evening that Percy Carpmael proposed his idea for the formation of a new rugby touring club. All the members were in high spirits and the Barbarians RFC Rugby Union Club was formed.

Tasting defeat against Huddersfield and victory over Wakefield Trinity

In addition, Twenty-two players represented the tourists in their four matches, sixteen of them becoming founder members of the Barbarians, the other six of them being substitutes called upon locally during the tour. Carpmael, moreover, had spread his net fairly wide in getting his side together. There was one player each from Middlesex Wanderers, Harlequins, Manchester, St Thomas’s Hospital, Dublin University, Rosslyn Park and Lennox, and one each from the Somerset clubs of Wiveliscombe, Castle Cary, and Wellington, with two each from Blackheath (including Carpmael himself), Richmond and Moseley.

Barbarians RFC Rugby Union England Rugby Internationals

Moreover, four of the scratch team were internationals. A. Walpole, capped for Ireland in 1888. P.F. Hancock, one of the Somerset trio, an England player of 1886. And W.G. Mitchell and J.H. Rogers who had both won their first caps earlier in that same season in 1890. It is clear from press reports of the time that the Barbarians had already adopted a style of attractive attacking rugby. Also, this read as follows. The strength in the team was in its forwards who played well together and brought off some extraordinary passing. They gained a brilliant victory over Wakefield by two goals and two tries to a try. But, on a Tuesday they were defeated in a very fast open game by Huddersfield.

Also quite clearly the Barbarian policy of playing imaginative running rugby was instilled from the outset. The original uniform was a white shirt with the monogram B.F.C. over the left breast, dark shorts, and socks. It also had a skull and crossbones over the letters but this later had removal. Their now-famous uniforms, black and white hooped jerseys, with the overlapping B.F.C., did not adopt until 1891.

Inspired Rugby Design and Manufacturing

The Invitation XV Rugby Shirt Vintage Retro Heritage Style features a skull and crossbones on the chest. In addition, we offer a Rugby Invitation XV Shirt Polo Heritage Style. Also, we also offer the Vintage Rugby Team T-Shirt Invitation XV. It features the motto written by WJ Carey – “Rugby football is a game for gentlemen in all classes, but never for a bad sportsman in any class” –