The Barbarians are all that is good about rugby. It's a harp back to the amateur ethos, and what's fun about the sport. It's a gentle reminder that in the seriousness of professionalism, that the sport is meant to be fun. From the beer-drinking traditions, to the nods back to past clubs with the player's socks, and the gung-ho nature of how the rugby is played, it's very easy to get swept up in the light relief that the Barbarians provide.
Others think it's a waste of time. In his column in the Sunday Independent, Brendan Fanning argues that the Baa-baas tradition has no benefit to those who play against them. It's quite a balanced and measured argument that makes some valid points, but it's still hard to hear for traditionalists of the game.
Central to Fanning's argument is that Schmidt learns nothing from these games. There will be no surgical like analysis of the mistakes, things will be brushed under the rug and we'll move on. It's Fanning's belief that no matter who the Barbarians play, "they just arrive and play, go on the lash, and leave", usually leaving the opposition to abandon their preparations for bigger things to fall into chaos.
Then the comparisons start. Ireland weren't impressive by any means last Thursday, but comparing it to the Leinster performance against Treviso that was one of the factors in Matt O'Connor's departure seems a tad harsh.
Fanning does admit that the fixture does generate a good bit of income for both the IRFU and the Barbarians, but argues that that isn't enough for teams to continue the exercise of playing the Barbarians.
It seems a controversial opinion put forward in a measured manner. Do you agree? Here's what the Barbarians players have to say about the tradition:
— Barbarian FC (@Barbarian_FC) May 31, 2015
The Barbarians play England today at 2.30 pm on Sky Sports.
See Also: The Honey Badger Gave A Typically Honey Badger Interview Afters The Baa-Baas And Australia
Photo Credit Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile