REVEALED: Chris Robshaw was among 12 Barbarians players to ignore Covid rules to go for dinner in London with former England captain now OUT of his Twickenham farewell on Sunday
- 12 members of the Barbarians squad are now being quizzed by the RFU
- Chris Robshaw is out of what was set to be his farewell game against England
- The players left the team hotel without permission to go for dinner nearby
Chris Robshaw’s farewell appearance against England at Twickenham on Sunday is off after the former national captain was among a group of Barbarians players to breach Covid protocols.
The RFU revealed on Thursday night that an urgent review is under way to decide if England’s first fixture since lock-down can take place after 12 of the visitors’ squad left their London hotel without permission for dinner in a nearby restaurant.
Sportsmail understands that 34-year-old flanker Robshaw, who was due to appear at HQ before a move to the USA to play for San Diego, was among the dozen diners along with ex-England teammate Richard Wigglesworth.
Chris Robshaw is said to be one of 12 Barbarians who broke Covid rules in London this week
England are due to face the Barbarians on Sunday but the match is in danger of being called off
Sources also indicated that rookie Bath back Tom De Glanville, who was released by England head coach Eddie Jones to play for the Barbarians, claimed that he had not left the hotel, but was identified by CCTV footage as being one of those who ventured out.
When the RFU revealed outline details of this incident, there was widespread speculation about heavy drinking but Sportsmail has been told that the players merely went for dinner and were back in the hotel by 10pm.
However, an RFU security guard informed them they had breached guidelines and kept them away from team-mates and staff.
On Thursday, the union’s head of discipline, David Barnes attended the Barbarians’ base, the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, to take statements from all those concerned. It is understood that new England prop Simon Kerrod and a large Fijian contingent did not leave the hotel — where the ballroom has been turned into a squad games and dining room.
Former England captain Chris Robshaw was set to make farewell appearance at Twickenham
It is thought Barbarians have lined up replacements for the 12 players to face England
If it is confirmed on Friday that Robshaw has been withdrawn from the match it will see him denied a fitting send-off at the national stadium, having captained his country 43 times.
Initial concerns that the non-cap game may have to be called off appeared to be receding on Thursday night as it is thought that the Barbarians have lined up replacements for most of the 12 players who will be stood down.
They have until 3pm on Friday to confirm they will be able to field a Covid-safe side.
Nevertheless, this is an embarrassing episode, as the RFU made clear. Their statement read: ‘Barbarian FC have expressed their extreme disappointment in the conduct of the players involved and have taken all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the players and staff within the bubble.’
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