Brussels Barbarians

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Brussels Barbarians
Full nameBrussels Barbarians Rugby Football Club
Nickname(s)The Babas
Ground(s)The Elephant Pitch
PresidentJimmy Parker
League(s)Flander's Regional 1st Division
1st kit
2nd kit

The Brussels Barbarians Rugby Football Club (also known as the Babas) are a rugby union club in Belgium. The club consists of two men's teams.

Brussels Barbarians are one of two expatriate rugby clubs in Belgium[citation needed]. The club was formed in 1968. The men play competitively in matches every Sunday afternoon between September and May in the Flander's Regional 1st Division. Matches are played throughout Belgium.

Teams play at their home ground, named the Elephant Pitch, in Tervuren, a suburb of Brussels. The home off the pitch is "The James Joyce", located in the Schuman area of Brussels. The Babas are a multi-national, multicultural club, with members from over 30 nationalities turning out in the last 2 seasons.

The Babas are a partner club of Saracens[citation needed] .


In September 1968 James D Adams (known as Jim and who had been the Captain of the league and cup winning team called ASUB the previous season) and his then fiancée, Judy Robb decided to form a club in order to continue playing the sport in the manner in which they were accustomed back home, especially the social aspects. The most important reason was the decision to play on Saturdays, unlike the Belgian League which played on Sundays. Celebrating on a Sunday evening after a game was not satisfactory when we all needed to be up early for work on each Monday. At this time the club did not, therefore, play in the Belgian League but managed fixtures with South Coast English sides. British Army and Dutch teams. Over the next few years things developed rapidly. In 1970, the second XV was born, by 1972 the Belgian National side had been beaten and the Belgian Cup won. In 1973, the third XV was launched and with a steadily improving fixture list they were playing with credit such sides as Coventry, Blackheath, Newbridge and Public School Wanderers.

In 1974 the Barbarians won the Belgian Cup for the second time, and in May 1978 they went on a successful seven-match tour of the USA, winning all their games. Since 1978 the club has remained one of the most active and successful expatriate clubs in Europe[citation needed]. During this latter period the standard of Belgian Rugby and the number of clubs has increased significantly.

In 1980 the Babas entered the Belgian League division five. During the following years they worked their way through the divisions gaining promotion in successive seasons and took the championship of the Premier Division at their first attempt in 1985. At the end of that season the club celebrated with their third major tour, this time to Colorado, USA. Whilst since then they have failed to repeat their championship win, they have had successful tours to Spain, Czechoslovakia, Boston, Estonia and Majorca. In 1982 they won the Belgian Cup for the third time and finished off with a successful tour to Canada.

The club has also organised international charity rugby matches in 1986,1987, 1990 and 1991. These brought to Belgium many of the most famous rugby players of the 1970s and early 1980s from the Five Nations to play against a Belgian Select side, which at the same time raised over 2.5 million Francs for various deserving charities. The last occasion in 1991 was for the support of the Belgian wife and children of Brussels British's captain Leslie Joyce following his death in a car crash a few months earlier. Whilst the majority of players come from Great Britain and Ireland, there are nearly always members from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA plus other neighbouring European countries. At one point, all three sons of the ambassador of Western Samoa played for the club. The eldest of these, Vince Fepuleia, went on to play for Western Samoa against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park in 1988.

During the mid-1980s the Barbarians fielded a first XV with players from 11 different countries. In 2003, the Barbarians had no fewer than 22 nations represented within its ranks – a far cry from its origins as a team of British ex-patriates – including players from countries without a strong Rugby tradition. Local players are also welcome, and one former player, Freddy Thielemans, served as Mayor of Brussels in 1994.[citation needed]


The club President is James Parker

The club Chairman is Kenneth Knuts

Men's team[edit]

Jozzekk williams
The Babas in a match

The men's 1st and 2nd team always play at home on the same weekend and away on the same weekend to maximize socializing and club spirit.

The men's coach is Arnaud Coulonnier supported by forward's coach Paul Laffin, and backs' coach Giles Lancaster. The men's 1st XV and Club Captain is Nicolas Becuwe.

The current men's squad includes players from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Canada, Belgium, Peru, Austria, Argentina, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, The United States, Australia, Zimbabwe,South Africa, Kenya, Denmark and the Turks and Caicos Islands.


  • Belgian League Champions: 1985
  • Belgian Cup Champions: 1972,74,82, finalist in 2005
  • Dutch/Belgian ING Plate, finalist in 2005


The club's mascot is the Mannekin Pis, a famous Brussels landmark.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]