Wales star Justin Tipuric will fulfil childhood dream with Barbarians at Twickenham

Justin Tipuric will complete a childhood ambition of playing for Wales, the Lions and the Barbarians when he lines up against England on Sunday. Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

LONDON, England -- Anyone who doubts whether the Barbarians should still have a place in the professional game could do a lot worse than talk to Justin Tipuric.

His schedule this season included 15 matches for the Ospreys -- culminating in last Sunday's Champions Cup playoff defeat in Ulster -- six Tests for Wales and a trip to the Gold Coast to represent his country at the Commonwealth Games. All on the back of a British & Irish Lions tour.

Yet, while Tipuric has been excused from Wales' tour matches in the United States and Argentina in June, the chance to fulfil a childhood ambition and complete a rare treble in London meant that he was happy to postpone an overdue holiday.

"It's something I probably never thought I'd do, as a child even," he told ESPN.

"To play for Wales, play for the Baa-Baas and to do the Lions tour is something you dream of as a kid and it's something quite special that all rugby players want to do."

He added: "So many great players have played in that Baa-Baas shirt, and so many great players are here in this squad as well. To play with them is something special."

That special 'Barbarian ethos' is something head coach Pat Lam is hoping to tap into this week in London as he attempts to put together a team capable of beating England at Twickenham on Sunday.

The invitational squad assembled at their base on Tuesday and have already been shown one of the most famous tries ever scored in the famous black-and-white shirt -- Gareth Edwards' 1973 effort against the All Blacks.

It is hoped that watching the replays will help remind players of the Barbarians' attacking ethos. The team will also attend a dinner on Thursday in 1970s fancy dress to celebrate the famous score.

"We've just shown the 1973 try again. That try inspired me as a player and as a coach -- you see expression, no fear and culture," Lam said.

"And when I say culture people think about Phil Bennett doing the sidestep, the pass to John Dawes and then Derek Quinnell.

"But if you freeze frame, you can see the number of black-and-white jerseys that got back there to make the opportunity happen. We'll honour that team by going out one night in 70s gear.

"We've been looking to recruit players who can play the Barbarians way and the challenge now is to get everyone on the same page so they can express the gifts and talents they have.

"We have to accelerate that in five days. That's the challenge, but that's what the Barbarians are all about. A lot of time is spent getting to know each other really well."

Entertainment laid on for the squad in the UK capital will also include a race around the city in which groups of players will be required to take photos and videos at famous landmarks.

It is all designed to help the players form a bond as quickly as possible, and is "part of the process to get the win" according to Lam.

"Some people misunderstand that [the Barbarians] is just about going out and getting boozed, but it's not. It's about being in a relaxed environment and being able to chat and have good conversations," he said.

"It's why I love the game of rugby, it was what it was about before money got involved."