x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Here's to hoping Rowan Varty's dream will not turn nightmare against British and Irish Lions

Rowan Varty was handed an invite to play for the Barbarians against the British & Irish Lions this summer. Not a bad effort.

It will be a dream come true for Rowan Varty when he lines up to play for the Barbarians side, but British and Irish Lions players such as Manu Tuilagi, above, will want to turn it into a nightmare..
It will be a dream come true for Rowan Varty when he lines up to play for the Barbarians side, but British and Irish Lions players such as Manu Tuilagi, above, will want to turn it into a nightmare..

It is sort of the stuff of dreams.

Or, at least the type of dream that is all warm and fuzzy at the start, then gets a bit moody halfway through and ends up with you clinging on to the duvet in a cold sweat hoping it never really happened.

Rowan Varty achieved the kind of recognition to which every rugby player aspires this week when he was handed an invite to play for the Barbarians against the British & Irish Lions this summer.

Not a bad effort for a Hong Kong national whose biggest tests to date have pitted him against the likes of Japan, South Korea and, this time last year in Dubai, the UAE.

To be plucked from the obscurity of Asian semi-professional rugby to play alongside rugby royalty such as Sergio Parisse, Jaque Fourie et al., in the colours of one of the world's most famous teams, is an extraordinary achievement.

It is the sort of thing you daydream about during dull lessons at school or when the boss is going on too long during a meeting.

And then there is the playing bit.

In opposition will be a team of Britain's finest players en route to Australia to win a Test series.

Powerhouses such as George North or Manu Tuilagi will likely be careering down his channel and they will be showing no mercy. Not that the Hong Kong sevens captain will be in need of it, according to the Barbarians manager Derek Quinnell.

"[Varty's] impressive pace on the wing will be a bonus for us," the Welsh former Lion said.

Good luck to him, he will be doing Asian rugby proud.

 

pradley@thenational.ae

 

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