Stuart Barnes

Stuart Barnes (born 22 November 1962 in Grays, Essex)[2] is a former English rugby union footballer, and now rugby commentator for Sky Sports. Barnes played fly-half for Newport RFC, Bristol, Bath; and represented England at international level.

Stuart Barnes
Stuart Barnes.JPG
Date of birth (1962-11-22) 22 November 1962 (age 58)
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight86 kg (13 st 8 lb)[1]
SchoolBassaleg School
UniversitySt Edmund Hall, University of Oxford
Occupation(s)Sports Commentator
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Newport RFC
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
British and Irish Lions


Although born in Essex, he played his schoolboy international rugby for Wales Schools.[3]

Such was his speed and talent, he made the leap from the U15s to the U19s after one season, and became an ever-present (he didn't miss a schools international for four years between 1976 & 1980), also captaining the team on several occasions.

Barnes studied at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, where he won three rugby Blues.[citation needed] He played for Oxford against Cambridge University's Rob Andrew in the Varsity match.[4] He graduated from Oxford with a third-class honours degree in history.[5]

Club careerEdit

While at University, Barnes played club rugby for Newport RFC. He matriculated in 1981.[6]

Barnes later played for Bristol, including in the 1984 RFU final against Bath Rugby. After being on the losing side for Bristol in that final, he was to join Bath.[7]

He arrived at Bath aged 22: "disaffected with England and, with my volatile character, I could easily have drifted out of the game altogether. At the time the big joke was that I'd had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus – Newport, Bristol and Bath by 22 and people doubted my character, they thought of me as being very fickle and at Bath I found what I wanted – a rugby home.".[8]

International careerEdit

Barnes made his England debut against Australia in November 1984. He gained ten caps for England and played his last international match in 1993 against Ireland.[2]

Barnes played for the Barbarians against Wales in October 1990, converting three tries in the Barbarians victory.[9]

Life after playingEdit

Barnes' last game was the Bath versus Leicester Pilkington Cup Final on 7 May 1994, which Bath won 21–9. He resigned from the Bristol and West building society shortly afterwards. Barnes became a freelance writer and reporter for the Telegraph, and wrote his autobiography Smelling of Roses.[8]

He later became involved in broadcasting, firstly with the BBC,[3] and then joined Sky Sports in 1994.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

He was nicknamed The Bath Barrel.[10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Stuart Barnes: England". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Stuart Barnes". ESPN Scrum. ESPN. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Varsity magazine 25 November 2005 (see page 19)" (PDF). Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. ^ Glover, Tim (7 November 2004). "Stuart Barnes: The voice of rugby says 'I've watched every minute of every match'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Notable Alumni – St Edmund Hall".
  7. ^ "The Eighties". History. Bath Rugby Official Site. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b " – ERE Met Stuart Barnes In January 1994". 1 January 2006. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Wales v Barbarians: Full record". BBC. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  10. ^ " – Leinster Snatch Victory From Bath". 9 January 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2011.

External linksEdit