WORCESTER Warriors hooker Niall Annett says it was a fantastic occasion to help the Barbarians to a 59-26 victory over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

The former Ulsterman was called up to the squad on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s clash, which helped mark the 125th anniversary of the Baa-Baas.

He admitted: “It was a surprise call-up. I was jogging out for training on Monday and the opportunity arose to play for the Barbarians so I jumped at it.

“It was a fantastic evening at a packed Welford Road.

“Looking at the guys in the team, I considered myself both privileged and fortunate to be involved.

“You want to challenge yourself to be a similar standard to those guys so it was a bit of an eye-opener because they’re at the top of their game and play some fantastic rugby.”

Annett featured in a team of international stars, who racked up nine tries in the win, and insists he learned a great deal from his short experience with the team.

He explained: “To a certain degree of responsibility, I was thinking I didn’t want to let anyone else down and I wanted to give a good account of myself.

“But it was made easier by guys around me telling me to go out there, enjoy myself and to do what I do because that’s why you’re there.

“Just playing alongside guys like All Blacks’ Adam Thomson, Scotland captain Alastair Kellock and Jacques Botes, who played more than 250 games at Sharks, was a huge experience for me.”

Another man in the team was Australian cult hero Nick Cummins, also known as The Honey Badger.

The entertaining Cummins is known for his puns during interviews.

Annett admitted: “He is a genuinely nice bloke. He was quite quiet but when he opened his mouth he had the changing room in stitches.

“He really is a funny, witty guy.”

When Annett returns to Sixways, he is hoping to bring some of his Barbarians experience back with him.

He added: “I learned a lot from some of those players.

“It wasn’t necessarily tactics and plays but just the way they are as people, such as how they conduct themselves and why they play the game.

“They go out to play and enjoy themselves.

“That was how they encouraged me to treat the game and it was quite refreshing to have that.

“I am looking to bring that experience back to Sixways and, hopefully, with Warriors we can keep on picking up the wins and putting in good performances.”

Meanwhile, Warriors full-back Chris Pennell has also been celebrating this week after was named Sports Personality of the Year at the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards.

He saw off Beth Crumpton, Claire Cashmore, Moeen Ali and Sascha Kindred to pick up the award at Sixways.

It was the only award determined by a public vote.

Pennell said: “The category included four other sportspeople. all of whom have enjoyed a remarkable year.

“It was a fantastic ceremony and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.”

Pennell enjoyed a milestone year in 2014, during which time he made his England debut against New Zealand at Eden Park.

He added: “Making my England debut was a surreal experience. It’s something I am very proud of.

“I’m focused on working hard so I can get as many opportunities as I can.”