RFU charges 13 Barbarians players for breaching coronavirus protocols and providing false statements

A number of Barbarians players were seen breaking coronavirus protocols

Former England and Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth said: “Embarrassed and beyond gutted to have let (head coach) Vern Cotter and everyone at the Barbarians down as well as the RFU.

“Should not have happened and for that I am truly sorry. I’ve let a lot of people down including myself and wish I’d done it differently. Sorry again.”

Wigglesworth’s former Saracens teammate Jackson Wray said he wanted to “sincerely apologise for my actions”, adding “I’m hugely disappointed in letting the Barbarians down, I am truly devastated that the game has been cancelled due to my actions and I will make sure this never happens again”, while Saracens said they were “extremely disappointed” that several of their players had “fallen well short of the high professional standards that are expected at Saracens.

Confirming the charges on Thursday afternoon, an RFU statement read: “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.”

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