RFU charge 13 Barbarians players with ‘conduct prejudicial to the the interests of the union’ after Chris Robshaw and team-mates breached Covid rules TWICE to go to Mayfair pub and have squad dinner
The Rugby Football Union has announced that 13 Barbarians players have been charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game.
Those charged will now be required to appear before an online Independent Disciplinary Panel after breaching RFU rule 5.2.
Charged players – who the RFU have declined to name at this stage – will face a range of charges.
These include the need for players to answer for ‘individual breaches’ of the protocols, such as leaving the hotel without permission or without informing organisers of their whereabouts, and providing false statements during an investigation.
Former England captain Chris Robshaw, who it is unclear if is among the 13 players charged, was one of five Barbarians stars to apologise over the weekend for their conduct.
Footage emerged on social media over the weekend showing a group from the invitational club engaging in a drinking session at the Running Horse pub in Mayfair.
It was one of two nights out that resulted in last Sunday’s non-cap international against England being cancelled, costing the Rugby Football Union in the region of £1million in lost broadcast and sponsorship revenue.
The two Covid-19 breaches saw plans for the game against England abandoned and it proved a costly mistake.
The resulting loss in revenue from the Barbarians’ misdemeanour comes at a time when the RFU are battling a financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in 140 people being made redundant.
Furthermore, it robbed England of their warm-up for Saturday’s Six Nations finale against Italy when Eddie Jones’ men are aiming to win the title.
More to follow.