The Barbarians was one of three such clubs that conducted high profile matches in 1972 to help with funding for the Commonwealth Games in 1974.
Former All Black captain Wilson Whineray, whose last first class appearance in New Zealand had been in 1966, captained the Barbarians.
“BARBARIANS (N.Z.) CLUB
Selector: Mr. D. G. Hamilton (Club Captain).
Barbarians (N.Z.) Club made two first-class appearances during the season and was also one of the three New Zealand first-class Clubs to be entrusted with the conducting of a match to raise funds in connection with the holding of the Commonwealth Games at Christchurch in 1974. In addition to the New Zealanders available, the three Clubs were able to call upon five overseas players who were invited by the New Zealand Rugby Union to take part in the series of three games. they being J. H. Ellis (South Africa), R. L. Fairfax (Australia)P. J. F. Greyling (South Africa), J. N. B. Hipwell (Australia) and P. B. Tikoisuva (Fiji). Invitations had also been issued to C. M. H. Gibson (Ireland) and Pierre Villepreux (France) but after accepting both could not travel, R. L. Fairfax taking C M H Gibson’s place; Pierre Villepreux was not replaced.
The Commonwealth Games Benefit match was against Auckland, and the final of the three to be played. Conditions underfoot were good, some rain and a light wind did not provide any advantage for either side, the margin of points favouring the Barbarians, who scored five tries to four tries, actually being mainly ‘boosted by superior goa!-kicking. Prior to taking the field, the Barbarians had made some changes from the original selection: B.. N. Lendrum (Counties) had an injured knee and could not play, R. L. Fairfax being moved from 1st five-eighth to full-back and B. N. Sokolich called upon, whilst J. E. Knofflock, D. A. Syms and G. A. Head replaced S. T. Meads (King Country), F. J. Colthurst (North Auckland) and K. F. Gray (Wellington) in the pack.
April 23, BARBARIANS v. AUCKLAND (Commonwealth Games Benefit),
at Eden Park. Auckland.
Barbarians 31: I. A. Kirkpatrick, R. L. Fairfax B. J. Robertson, J. N. B. Hipwell and J. H. Ellis, tries; R L Fairfax, penalty goal and 4 conversions.
Auckland 16. D L Palmer (2), K R Carrington, B J Farrell, tries.
Referee: Mr. R.. F. McMullen (Auckland).”
1973 RUGBY Almanack “Barbarians (N.Z.) Club” page 153.
The other Commonwealth Games Benefit matches resulted:
April 9, Canterbury 27 Cantabrians 25 at Lancaster Park, Christchurch.
April 16, Centurions 37 Wellington 17 at Athletic Park, Wellington.