The New Zealand Barbarians are tapping into the rich history of the Baabaas club as they plan their attack on the Maori All Blacks this Saturday night.
A visit to the impressive Barbarians clubrooms at Eden Park, which were opened five years ago, was well received by the squad, and gave them an insight into who they are playing for and the famous scarlet jersey.
Former Barbarians President Mike Mills, a former All Blacks trialist and Auckland and North Harbour midfielder, addressed the gathering.
"It was an outstanding night and well worth it," said Barbarians coach, former All Black Scott McLeod. "Mike gave us a good understanding of what the club's about, its history, and what he hopes for it. The boys soaked that up. They soaked up a few burgers, pies and beers as well."
Both prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi and wing Cory Jane are having their first games for the Barbarians, and appreciated the history lesson.
"This team means a lot. There are some great players who have worn this jersey in the past, and some great All Blacks as well. So I'm looking forward to it. Most of this team have played with or against each other," said Tu'ungafasi, who is keen to run out on his home turf of Eden Park.
Jane looked relaxed, even though he is attracting some scrutiny for what this game might mean for his career.
"They had a chat to us about how they run the club and the voluntary work that goes on.
They've got a nice corporate area at the top of the stand there. It was good to get up, have a beer and chew the fat," said Jane.
They only assembled as a full squad on Tuesday, so there is no real opportunity to follow what the UK Barbarians and State of Origin teams do and have extended 'bonding' sessions. However, the squad looked at ease and gelling swiftly at training on the artificial turf at 'The Cage', home of the St Peter's College First XV.
The trio who were in Cape Town only days ago for the World XV international against the Springboks - Luke Whitelock, Jordan Taufua, who played well, and Andrew Horrell - have pulled up well and McLeod says they only need to catch up on sleep to be in fine fettle for the weekend. New Zealand Under 20s and Chiefs centre Anton Lienert-Brown had joined the squad as cover, while Mark Reddish had replaced Joe Wheeler, who was called into the opposition due to a Heiden Bedwell-Curtis injury.
Hurricanes loose forward Brad Shields will be skipper of the Barbarians, who will announce their side today. Expect to see Tom Taylor and George Moala as the five-eighths pairing.