Disciplinary hearings will now take place.
The RFU have confirmed that charges will be brought against 13 Barbarians players after they breached COVID-19 regulations which ultimately led to the cancellation of the match with England which was set to take place at Twickenham last weekend.
Disciplinary update | 13 Barbarians players will appear before an online independent disciplinary panel.
More details below.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 29, 2020
A large group of players left the team hotel last week and enjoyed a night out in central London. Social media footage which emerged over the weekend saw a number of notable players including Chris Robshaw, Fergus McFadden, Richard Wigglesworth, Sean Maitland, Jackson Wray, Joel Kpoku and Manu Vunipola enjoying themselves in a pub Mayfair.
A number of these players issued apologies after the game was officially cancelled.
I want to front up and apologise profusely for my part in letting down @barbarians_fc. I greatly regret that the game will not be going ahead now. I am embarrassed and whole heartedly apologise to all involved. #sorry
— Fergus McFadden (@fergmcfadden) October 23, 2020
The charges against the players include the individual breach of protocol (leaving the hotel without permission or without informing organisers) and providing false statements during the subsequent investigation.
The RFU will not reveal the full identity of the 13 players until the disciplinary hearings have been completed.
You can find the full RFU statement below:
The RFU is bringing charges against 13 Barbarian FC players who will appear before an online Independent Disciplinary Panel chaired by Philip Evans QC charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the Game, contrary to RFU Rule 5.12.
The players will face a range of charges including:
- Individual breaches of the protocols (e.g. leaving the hotel without permission or without informing organisers of their whereabouts)
- 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.
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.