The Outback Barbarians is an invitation team primarily made up of players from rural Queensland, keen to take the Australian game and the international spirit of rugby to North America.
The first game is against the Capilano Rugby Club in West Vancouver on June 21. Two days later on June 23 the Barbas take on the Comox Valley Kickers in Cumberland, Vancouver.
On June 29 the tourists run on against the Banff Bears in Banff, Alberta. Next up on July 2 is the clash with the Clansmen Rugby in Edmonton. On July 5 the Barbas take on Red Deer Titans in Red Deer, Alberta.
The next match up is with the Calgary Canucks in Calgary on July 7.
The Outback Barbarians then head across the Canada/US border to Washington State, where they will run on against the Chuckanut Bay Rugby Club in Bellingham on July 10.
The final game of the tour is against the Eugene Stags, which will be played in Eugene, Oregon on July 16.
The Outback Barbarians will be captained by open side flanker Tom Beattie, a former Queensland Country captain, who currently plays for the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The team will be coached by David Conyers, an Australian currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina, who is helping to develop the game in the US.
Outback Barbarians manager Geoff Barton said the team would relish the playing conditions in both Canada and the US.
“There are a number of repeat team members in this year’s squad, but the bulk of the team are new players who are certainly well qualified to represent Queensland,” Mr Barton said.
“This is the fifth tour we have had starting in 2008. If our four previous tours of the US are any thing to go by then we are in for some pretty challenging encounters.
“Barbarians rugby is characterised by hard, up front work by the forwards and free running by the backs where scoring tries is always the priority.”
The tour will also take in plenty of sights and attractions in Canada including the Calgary Stampede.
The team flies out with Air New Zealand on Saturday morning following a training run at Ballymore at 10am on Friday. The Outback Barbarians are also holding a function to thank the team’s sponsors at the Alliance Hotel in Spring Hill tonight.
Players not shown in the graphic above are Jackson Brown from Longreach and Ross Morrissey from the Griffith Uni Knights.
Mark Phelps is joining the team on tour. Follow the Queensland Outback Barbarians: www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au