Heineken Champions Cup: Saracens’ darts-mad party animal Richard Barrington looking for double tops against Cardiff Blues
DARTS MAD Richard Barrington leads a secret sporting double life away from Saracens. . . meet Bazza, The Bull, Barrington!
The tungsten titan even has his own darts shirt, but has never worn it at the Sarries training ground as he fears he will never hear the end of it.
Darts fan Richard Barrington with the late, great Eric BristowTwitter
In fact the main chat at Old Albanians right now is that of 20 stone Barrington being on the receiving end of a giant-killing from 5ft 7ins England scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth.
In a modern-day David versus Goliath slaying, tournament favourite Barrington has been sensationally knocked out of the club’s annual darts championships by Wigglesworth.
However, The Bull still has his Thursday night throwing sessions at his local village pub, just outside of St Albans, where he is a valued member of the Hertfordshire league.
And ahead of today’s trip to Cardiff, where Sarries hope to throw a bullseye and secure their route to the Champions Cup knock-out stages, Barrington has finally come to terms with becoming a big-name scalp at the oche.
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The 29-year-old said: “I like to think I’m quite handy, playing in the pub team and we also play quite a bit here.
“But I had Wiggy in a quick knock-out game and he just pipped me. Somehow there are some terrible boys still in the competition, and I’m out.
Top night at the darts. Thanks to @KDeller138 @Russ180 @ericbristow for a great night. #double15 pic.twitter.com/MMcY6YjJRe
— Richard Barrington (@bazzbarrington) November 26, 2014
“They seeded it and picked it out of the hat and on one half of the draw it is pretty tasty. The other half, well. . . there are more holes in the door than there are in the dart board. They are useless.
“One half of the draw is pretty tasty. The other half, well. . . there are more holes in the door than there are in the dart board. They are useless!”
“It should be a good final and will probably be down to Wiggy and Duncan Taylor.”
Sarries favourite Barrington isn’t the first rugby player to switch balls for arrows.
Gerwyn Price, the controversial PDC title winner from Wales, is the ex Neath and Glasgow hooker who beat Gary Anderson to win £110,000 in the Grand Slam of Darts final last month.
Saracens put over half a century of points on Cardiff last weekendPA:Press Association
Barrington said: “I’ve met Gerwyn a few times and have been out in Cardiff with him.
“He has brought that rugby physicality to darts, you can’t touch anyone, but he uses it through his actions. I respect that, because it’s mainly full of old boys.
“He comes with a different game plan and he rattled Anderson. But I prefer watching darts on TV as I get into it, if you go to the darts you just get steaming, don’t you. . . there’s not much darts watching!”
As well as being handy with the arrows, Barrington has also proven himself as the ultimate party boy.
His dressing room celebrations and the ‘Barrington remix’ are infamous at Saracens.
Even when they won the Champions Cup in 2017 and Barrington was injured after tearing his calf off the bone and breaking his wrist, he still whipped his shirt off and started the party at Murrayfield.
Recalling his first cameo when they won the Premiership in 2015, he said: “It was out of the blue, I had never done that before.
“Everyone was singing, I didn’t know what song to sing, so I thought I would choose a little bit of all of them and just made it up as I went along.
“I changed it up the next time by making up some lyrics for Chris Ashton’s song as he was going to Toulon, but I’ll have to think of some new material now as he’s gone!
“That year I was in a bit of a state with my injuries, but because I wasn’t playing, I had a few during the game so I was pretty excited when we won. . . I can’t remember much of it!”
With 148 Sarries appearances under his belt, it is guys like Barrington who hold things together when superstars like Mako Vunipola and co head off on England duty.
And every time Vunipola gets picked to play in a Red Rose campaign, it’s good news for Devon lad Barrington.
Sean Maitland scored twice in Saracens’ comeback winPA:Press Association
Twitter Topless Richard Barrington leads the celebrations for Saracens Murrayfield in 2017[/caption]
Back on the bench today against the club he supported growing up, he said: “I’m fortunate and unfortunate with Mako.
“Fortunate because I get to learn off him and watch him play, because he is one of the best looseheads in the world, and unfortunate because I’m struggling to get a game!
“All jokes aside, he is a top lad and he is great to have as a teammate.
“Test windows are a really fun time. . . it’s also my favourite time because I play most of the games as the big lad is away!
Vunipola is looking to force his way back into the England reckoningGetty Images – Getty
“It’s great to see the core of the club, with the internationals away, still performing.
“We had a good couple of victories in the autumn and it’s great now to have those guys back.”
And boss Mark McCall admits that even though Barrington isn’t one of his Lions or England heroes, he is vital in their success as they look to reclaim their European crown.
The Irishman added: “Richard arrived as Jersey’s second-choice loosehead to help us out in an LV Cup window many years ago and has now played almost 150 times for us. It’s an incredible achievement.
Saracens boss Mark McCall signed Barrington as emergency cover in 2013
“He has become a really important member of the group for other reasons too, he is highly popular and brightens up everyone’s day, every day.
“But he also wants to get better and always steps up when Mako is not around.”