DORCHESTER Rugby Club were celebrating their first senior international for 55 years as former youth player Harri O’Connor took to the field for Wales in their game against the fabled Barbarians.

A match noted for the game’s most-capped player taking to the Principality field for the last time as Lions, Wales and Ospreys legend Alun Wyn Jones signed off by captaining the Barbarians, picking up both a try and the player of the match award. The was game won by Wales 49-26.

Also in their final performances at the stadium were two other highly-capped Welsh players Leigh Halfpenny and Justin Tipuric. Many other respected names from the game also graced the Barbarians side, including several players involved in the recent World Cup.

The 23-year-old tighthead prop O’Connor came onto the field in the 53rd minute replacing Lloyd Fairbrother.

READ MORE: Harri O'Connor makes professional debut for Scarlets

O’Connor is a former Dorchester youth player who went through the Bath academy and then joined the Welsh exiles programme at Scarlets Academy and moved into the first-team squad. His younger brother Sam also plays for Scarlets having spent time with Dorchester.

Dorchester last had one of its own on international duty in 1968 when Brian Keen, also a prop, played all four of England’s Five Nations matches.

The first of those matches was against Wales at Twickenham, coincidentally Sir Gareth Edwards’ first appearance at the ground.

So far in his professional career, O’Connor has played 26 times for the Scarlets, including in the URC games in South Africa, and was called up to the senior Wales squad for the South Africa tour earlier this year but did not get any game time.

Making his debut at the Principality Stadium was a huge family moment with many of his relatives there to see his first steps into the international game. Sarah and Dai, O’Connor’s mum and dad, were bursting with pride.

After the match, O’Connor took time to reflect. He said: “During the build-up I was obviously apprehensive and I’m not sure I expected as big a crowd as it was, but once I settled I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the occasion.

“We approached the game much like any other, expecting the Barbarians to throw the ball around, and we were trying to slow it down as fast as we could, overall we thought it worked well for us.

“I was really excited to be up against an All Black legend like Joe Moody and being on the pitch with the like of Taniela Tupou was class.

“Obviously, the day was about Alun Wyn who, as we all know is a living legend and a top guy. He was one of first players to welcome me when I toured South Africa with the Welsh squad in the summer.

“I don't really know Tips but Halfers is a former stablemate of mine at Scarlets, so it was fantastic to see him have a good send-off.

“The day itself was emotional, 50 thousand people all singing the anthem was incredible and a great motivation.

“Having my family there was a special moment and all the well wishes and congratulations I'm still reading through.

“My plan is to focus on the Scarlets now as I know I'm young and need to get some top-level match time before I think about anything else. I’ll concentrate on improving my game and anything more is a bonus.”

O’Connor’s former coach at Dorchester, Gavin Dunning, said he was overjoyed for both Harri and the family, and commented: “It was an awesome achievement for a great young man who had achieved the ultimate goal of any rugby player, pulling on his national team’s shirt with pride.”