London Wasps’ Aylesbury rugby star Sam Jones has expressed his delight at being called up by the Barbarians for their upcoming games against England and the British and Irish Lions.
The Barbarians will be coached by Wasps’ director of rugby Dai Young, who rates former Aylesbury Grammar School and Ducks player Jones highly.
Barbarians is an invitational team that play in traditional black and white hoops, though players retain the socks from their “home” club strip.
Membership is by invitation and the only qualifications considered when issuing an invitation are that the player’s rugby is of a high enough standard and secondly that he should behave himself on and off the field.
Traditionally at least one uncapped player is selected for each match. At just 21-years old Jones has already represented Wasps at senior level 53 times and was the club’s Young Player of the Year last season.
He said: “Dai told me during the week and I was totally shocked! It was a massive surprise but an amazing one. I am going to learn an incredible amount playing with and against some fantastic players.
“Even when you look at some of the back-row names in there already like Imanol Harinordoquy and Sergio Parisse you can see what a great experience it will be for me to learn from these guys. Dai has shown a lot of faith in me by picking me and hopefully I can repay that and prove him right if I get a chance to play.”
“I am looking at it as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not many people get to play for the Barbarians, especially not when they are young and uncapped so it’s a huge deal for me. I’ve had to cancel a couple of holidays but I had absolutely no problem with that! It’s a very special thing for me and my family and I can’t wait to get involved.”