The first meeting of Wales and the Barbarians was on the Cardiff Arms Park on April 17, 1915 and was termed as a Military International between 'Wales and England'. But, it was the Barbarians who fielded with two Irishmen, one Welshman and 12 English players.
While Wales used eight forwards, the Barbarians used seven and played an extra back! The match was arranged to boost recruitment for the Welsh Guards and raise money for the War effort. It succeeded on both counts as stirring appeals during the interval saw many Welshmen enlist and over Â£200 being raised.
As for the match - in which Wales did not cap - the fiery forward, Rev Alban Davies, was the home captain and indeed already an Army chaplain. He led a side made up of 13 capped players and another, Tom Parker of Swansea, who went on to gain 14 caps. The lone player never to win a cap was a Cardiff forward Dan Callan (a Munster fusilier), who played when Tom Williams of Swansea withdrew.
Joseph Quinn, the Blackrock wing, who had won 15 caps for Ireland, scored two tries and soon afterwards earned a Military Cross. He had scored seven tries in his last five international appearances.
The Welshman who appeared in the Barbarians side was actually a South African international! It was Joseph Edward Crawshay Partridge, known as 'The Bird'. Born in Abergavenny in 1879, he went to Dulwich College and played for Newport, Blackheath (skipper in 1906) and London Welsh.
Partridge was a lieutenant in the Welsh Regiment in the Boer War and joined Pretoria Harlequins then the Transvaal and was capped by the Springboks against the British Team of 1903. Later a lieutenant-colonel in the British Army, he was died in Abergavenny in 1965 at the age of 86 and his cap was presented to the Regimental Museum.
The referee was Bill Douglas of Cardiff, a Barry man, who won four caps for Wales in 1886 and 1887. He had refereed four internal matches from 1891-1903.
Wales: R Williams; I T Davies, W H Evans, J Wetter, B Lewis; Clem Lewis, T Vile; T Lloyd,
Rev A Davies (capt), D Callan, W Jenkins, Percy Jones, D Watts, Edgar Morgan, T Parker.
Tries: B Lewis, I T Davies. DG: Clem Lewis.
BARBARIANS: G Wood; E Butcher, J Birkett, E Mobbs (capt), J Minch, J Quinn; A Horan, H Higgins; G Roberts, J Partridge, A Bull, A Osbourn, G Kidman, M Atkinson, L Davies.
Tries: J Quinn 2, A Bull, J Minch, A Horan, J Birkett.
Cons: E Butcher 2, G Roberts 2.
Referee: W M Douglas (Cardiff).