Barbarians players charged by RFU for coronavirus breach

By Sports Desk October 29, 2020

Thirteen Barbarians players have been charged by the Rugby Football Union for a breach of COVID-19 protocols which caused the cancellation of their match against England.

The Twickenham clash scheduled for last Sunday was aborted after RFU investigations established members of the Baa-Baas squad broke their coronavirus regulations.

It meant England's players were left without a warm-up match ahead of this Saturday's Six Nations showdown against Italy.

An RFU statement confirmed the players will face charges that include leaving the hotel without permission or without informing organisers of their whereabouts, and providing false statements during an investigation.

"The RFU recognises the pressure public scrutiny is placing on the players and therefore it will publish players' names, full judgements and sanctions after the hearings have concluded," said a statement from the RFU.

"There is no sanction table applicable to charges brought under Rule 5.12 therefore the Independent Panel can issue a range of sanctions at their discretion including fines and/or match bans and/or any other suitable sanction."

Players involved are set to attend virtual hearings over the next few weeks and face a range of sanctions, including playing suspensions and fines.

A number of the Barbarians players have since publicly apologised for the breach, with former England captain Chris Robshaw saying he was "sincerely remorseful" for his actions.

Related items

  • Malan paces chase to perfection as England clinch T20 series Malan paces chase to perfection as England clinch T20 series

    England wrapped up victory in the Twenty20 series against South Africa with a game to spare in Paarl thanks to a second successive last-over triumph.

    Having overhauled the Proteas' total of 179-6 with four balls in hand in Friday's opener in Cape Town, England managed to reach a target of 147 from the penultimate delivery on Sunday.

    A slow, low surface made batting difficult for both teams, though Dawid Malan played a crucial knock of 55 from 40 deliveries in the successful chase as England earned a four-wicket win.

    The left-hander hit a six and seven fours as he overcame a sluggish start - he managed just 25 runs from his first 30 balls - to perfectly pick up the pace in the closing overs, putting on 51 for the fifth wicket with Eoin Morgan.

    Lungi Ngidi (2-51) dismissed Malan courtesy of a stunning catch by Reeza Hendricks on the boundary, though England still managed 18 from that 18th over, leaving them with a simple requirement at the finish.

    Chris Jordan struck the winning blow off Kagiso Rabada as captain Morgan finished unbeaten on 26, able to celebrate a 30th T20 victory during his time in charge of the team.

    Tabraiz Shamsi claimed 3-25 for South Africa on a pitch that helped the spinners, Adil Rashid having picked up 2-24 earlier as England restricted their hosts to 146-6.

    Rashid dismissed Hendricks and Faf du Plessis with successive deliveries – the latter stumped for the first time at international level in the format - to become only the fourth man to reach 50 T20 wickets for England.

    There was also a notable milestone for team-mate Jordan too, as Quinton de Kock (30) became his 65th wicket in T20 internationals, putting him joint-top on England's all-time list, alongside Stuart Broad.

    George Linde made a lively 29 off 20 balls but South Africa struggled to break the shackles. They will aim to avoid suffering a 3-0 series sweep when the teams meet again for the third and final game on Tuesday.

  • Wales 13-24 England: Slade and Vunipola pounce at Parc for Jones' men Wales 13-24 England: Slade and Vunipola pounce at Parc for Jones' men

    England saw off Wales 24-13 in a scrappy Llanelli battle as Eddie Jones' men clinched top spot in Group A of the Autumn Nations Cup. 

    Tries from Henry Slade and Mako Vunipola plus 14 points from the boot of captain Owen Farrell - who became the sixth man to kick 200 penalties in Test rugby - did the job for the visitors. 

    There was little running rugby on view at Parc y Scarlets, where Wales showed dogged resistance at times, an improved showing for coach Wayne Pivac whose team halted a six-game losing streak with a shaky victory over Georgia in their previous outing. 

    But England rode out the shock of conceding an early try against the run of play and were comfortable enough winners in the end.

    Johnny Williams nudged Wales ahead on 10 minutes, with Dan Biggar kicking a loose ball through and Williams showing good football skills himself before grounding for the first points of the game. Leigh Halfpenny added the conversion. 

    Slade got England on the board in the 15th minute, an easy run to the line in the left corner after the visitors moved the ball sharply through hands, but Farrell pulled his kick wide. 

    Halfpenny then sent a 45-metre penalty a foot wide of the right post, missing out on points Wales could ill afford to let slip away. 

    Farrell booted England into the lead for the first time after Wales flanker Shane Lewis-Hughes was punished for not releasing the ball. 

    And England were kicking at almost every opportunity when in possession, but a combination of their erratic work and pressure from the Welsh was keeping it tight. Farrell added a second penalty to edge England into an 11-7 interval lead. 

    The Welsh defence was impressing but they were bereft of an attacking threat and at times it looked like a damage-limitation exercise, with Vunipola plunging over from close range near to the posts for the second Red Rose try in the 51st minute. 

    Farrell could hardly miss and duly stretched England's lead to 18-7, before a spell of Welsh pressure saw the hosts earn a pair of penalties that Biggar seized on to claim six easy points. 

    A third Farrell penalty saw England to an eight-point cushion, after Wales knocked on, and he slotted a fourth in the 72nd minute to make sure. 

  • New Zealand captain Cane proud of All Blacks' response after successive defeats New Zealand captain Cane proud of All Blacks' response after successive defeats

    Sam Cane expressed his pride in New Zealand's response to two successive Test defeats, after the All Blacks ran out 38-0 winners over Argentina.

    Will Jordan's late double helped cap off a supreme display in Newcastle, as New Zealand took a huge step towards securing the Tri Nations crown.

    Their campaign is now over, with two wins and two defeats, though their points difference (+64) should see them clear of Argentina or Australia, who meet next week.

    Argentina made history with their first Test win over New Zealand on November 14, but the All Blacks were always in complete control on Saturday as the Pumas were kept out in a game for the first time since June 2016.

    "It's extremely satisfying. There's no hiding that we had a tough few weeks, we've had a week off after the loss," said Cane, who laid down a signed All Blacks jersey in tribute to Argentinian legend Diego Maradona prior to kick-off.

    "Pretty proud of the work we've put in over the last two weeks. The scoreboard doesn't reflect the first 60 minutes, I reckon.

    "Will Jordan's got an uncanny ability to get the ball in open space, so it was awesome for him to come on and have such impact. The way that the Pumas defended to keep us out multiple times is a real credit to how they played and their desire.

    "I'm really proud of the way we were able to stay patient, we didn't allow that to frustrate us. We stayed patient and got there in the end."

    The last time the All Blacks went on a longer losing streak than two Tests was a five-match span from July to August in 1998, but Cane insists the entire squad understands the expectancy of playing for the three-time world champions.

    "It's tough and there's pressure but that’s what playing for the All Blacks is all about," Cane, sporting a nasty cut above his right eye, added.

    "I'm proud of how the group stuck together in camp. A happy group and we've worked really hard to get better."

    Jordan's cameo from the bench was particularly eye-catching, with the 22-year-old making three clean breaks for a total of 125 metres, scoring his first two international tries and playing a key part in creating Patrick Tuipulotu's late five-pointer.

    It merely added gloss to a fine team display, with New Zealand controlling 71 per cent of the ball at McDonald Jones Stadium, the All Blacks having amassed 203 metres by half-time – Argentina managing just 35 in comparison in the opening 40 minutes.

    It was a performance with Argentina skipper Pablo Matera put down to the entire team, rather than any individual mistakes.

    "We were not clinical. Not enough pressure on the ball. Silly mistakes in defence as well. Not a good day for us," he said.

    "I don't think [the changes] were the problem. The guys who played for the first time in the tournament put in a lot of energy.

    "It was the whole team, many mistakes and handling errors, so I wouldn't put the mistakes to a name, it was something from the whole team.

    "We have to watch the game again, analyse, be really hard on ourselves. Prepare for a good game, a lot of work for the last game of the season. We deserve that, we work really hard."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.