BREAKING NEWS: 13 Barbarians players have been banned by the Rugby Football Union after breaching Covid protocols in October which led to that month’s game against England being cancelled.
As reported on October 29, former England captain Chris Robshaw, along with others including the likes of Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth and Joel Kpoku, left their hotel rooms without the permission of organisers and had dinner in a restaurant.
Their actions cost the RFU about £1m in lost broadcast and sponsorship revenue after the non-cap match had to be cancelled.
All players accepted the charges with five-week suspensions given to Chris Robshaw, Alex Lewington, Fergus McFadden, Juan Pablo Socino, Richard Wigglesworth and Jackson Wray.
If no further off-field offences are caused by the players for one year, then three weeks of those bans will be suspended.
Lewington, Robshaw, Wray and Wigglesworth are also to conduct 50 hours of unpaid rugby community work, while that figure is 60 hours for McFadden and Socino.
All bar McFadden have also been fined two weeks’ wages.
The governing body issued a statement on Tuesday, December 8, which said: “The sanctions reflect the seriousness of the charges which include behaving in a way that ignored what the public at large and the rugby community were complying with and deliberately compromising an investigation being carried out by the RFU as swiftly as the circumstances demanded.”
Tom de Glanville, Joel Kpoku and Manu Vunipola were given three-week suspensions, and Simon Kerrod got a two-week ban, whilst Calum Clark, Sean Maitland and Tim Swinson all received a four-week ban, of which three are suspended.
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