Three of the Sydney Convicts’ most upstanding players will turn barbarian next month to take part in the Union Cup in London.

Similar to the Bingham World Cup, the Union brings gay rugby players from around the world to duel it out over two days of intense play before crowning an eventual victor.

Mainly favoured by European players looking for a way to maintain their skills in off years from the Bingham Cup, international players have been invited to join together in a Barbarians team -” an offer which our own Jason Brown, Mark McMillan and Stu Fenton jumped at.

For Stu Fenton, it was an opportunity to follow through on his lost dreams to play at last year’s World Cup.

Just before we went to the Bingham Cup I broke my arm so I had to sit on the sidelines and watch, after preparing for 18 months to do it. It was the most frustrating experience so when we came back and someone mentioned this competition I started saving, he explained.

It’s a great opportunity, that we don’t get too often in Australia, to play against all the other gay teams. We just get to play against all the straight teams here, which is good for us and makes us work harder. But it’s a nice change.

Fenton is unsure who else will make up the Barbarians team but is embracing the unknown.

At best I might be able to get two training sessions in before the start of the match, so it will be interesting to see how we sort out who plays what position, and who’s strong at what. I’ll just have to see how it goes, he said.

The Barbarian team at the Bingham Cup did rather well, and it usually has a lot of good players on it.
info: The Union Cup starts on May 22. For more information visit

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