Liv­ing with the Bar­bar­ians was magic for Wand

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds -

SPALD­ING’S Kevin Wand lived the dream of ev­ery rugby sup­porter last week as he spent a week liv­ing, eat­ing and train­ing as the 23rd man for the star-stud­ded Bar­bar­ians.

Wand won the MasterCard Be Num­ber 23 com­pe­ti­tion to be part of the Baa Baas squad ahead of the MasterCard Tro­phy clash against Eng­land on Sun­day.

That meant get­ting up close and per­sonal to stars in­clud­ing Eng­land wing Paul Sackey, Aus­tralian leg­end Ge­orge Smith and World Cup win­ner Ben Kay.

And 44-year-old Wand – who coaches at Spald­ing Rugby Club – re­vealed he was soak­ing up ev­ery minute as he watched Toulon coach Philippe Saint-An­dre work his magic.

He said: “It truly is amaz­ing how Philippe and Kings­ley (Jones) pre­pare 22 play­ers who have barely played to­gether and mould them into a unit ca­pa­ble of tak­ing on Eng­land.

“A lot of that is down to the fa­mous Bar­bar­ians bond­ing ses­sion which was fan­tas­tic to wit­ness.

“The coach­ing is truly on an­other level and I have just been try­ing to learn as much as pos­si­ble.

“I felt like I had to pinch my­self when I was throw­ing a ball to Ben Kay – it truly was mag­i­cal.”

It was not just Wand who got to meet the Baa Baas squad as his Spald­ing Un­der 9 play­ers were in­tro­duced to the team at London’s Hyde Park.

And Wand says his side has been in­fused by the fa­mous Bar­bar­ians’ spirit.

He added: “We will def­i­nitely be try­ing to throw the ball around a lot more af­ter this.

“I know they are com­pletely dif­fer­ent lev­els of rugby but there are lots of things I have picked up that I will try and pass on.

“All the kids were ab­so­lutely thrilled to meet the play­ers, es­pe­cially my son Wil­liam.

“He is a huge Paul Sackey fan so it was a dream come true for him to meet him and get his au­to­graph.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on Wand’s week, and for your chance to win other rugby prizes, go to­num­­less.

MasterCard are match spon­sors of the Bar­bar­ians in­ter­na­tional fix­tures.

STAR IN THEIR EYES: Kevin Wand and some of his young Un­der 9 play­ers from Spald­ing Rugby Club rub shoul­ders with Eng­land wing Paul Sackey.

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