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Barbarian F.C.’s statement following the conclusion of the RFU’s Disciplinary Charges

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An independent disciplinary panel chaired by Philip Evans QC has today published its judgment on the hearing of the 13 players who, during their time within the Barbarian F.C. camp, breached the Covid Code of Conduct and were subsequently charged under Rule 5.12: conduct prejudicial to the interest of the Union or Game. 

The breaches, which included misleading the investigation, led to the cancelation of the England v Barbarians fixture scheduled for Sunday 25 October due to concerns over the health risk to other Barbarian players and management, as well as the potential risk to other teams and the integrity of the Autumn Nations Cup tournament. 

All players (Alex Lewington, Fergus McFadden, Juan Pablo Socino, Chris Robshaw, Richard Wigglesworth, Jackson Wray, Calum Clark, Sean Maitland, Tim Swinson, Tom de Glanville, Joel Kpoku, Manu Vunipola and Simon Kerrod) accepted the charges and the independent panel determined a range of sanctions according to the severity of the breaches. 

All Barbarian F.C. management and staff complied fully with the RFU’s investigation, supporting the disciplinary process and the resulting judgment returned.

Barbarian F.C. President John Spencer had the following message.

"We welcome the judgment of the RFU’s independent panel today and fully support the conclusion and results of the disciplinary hearings. This brings the formal proceedings to a close and I would like to take this opportunity to speak to our Barbarians family and supporters. 

"I have proudly been a Barbarian in one way or another for the best part of 50 years. We firmly believe in our values of flair, courage, spirit and passion and we seek to demonstrate these in all our actions. To be a Barbarian means to embrace these values alongside integrity, friendship and enjoyment. To be a Barbarian comes with a responsibility to uphold the core values of the Club and the sport of rugby. 

"Before and during our pre-Quilter Cup camp, we were all aware of the protocols under which we were operating. A huge amount of work across both the RFU and Barbarian F.C. went into the preparations and as a Club, while we recognised and impressed upon our squad it may not be a full Barbarians experience, we worked to plan good times on and off the pitch and a chance to make lifelong friendships. The majority of all those involved met that expectation and it goes without saying we are proud of and grateful to all of those players and staff. To be involved in the return of international rugby to Twickenham during a year when our beloved sport was put on hold around the world was to be a great privilege.

"The players involved took it upon themselves to ignore those protocols and we are immensely disappointed. We apologise unreservedly for the behaviour of those players, who acted in this irresponsible manner. As a Club, we place an enormous amount of trust in the players who join our family and come into camp ahead of a match. We are hugely disappointed these players breached that trust and put the health of the squad, the fixture against England, and the reputation of this historic Club, at such great risk.

"We must now close the book on the subject and look towards the future. I believe this great Club has a great responsibility to support the growth of the game around the world. Our Charitable Trust has recently awarded £10,000 grants to two organisations that proudly work to grow the game of rugby and we look forward to seeing their wonderful projects progress and bring rugby to more people around the world. More details will be revealed in the near future, 

"We look forward to working towards rearranging our postponed women’s fixture against the USA as well as our anniversary fixtures against Fylde RFC and Oxford University, while looking towards our next domestic and international matches. It is not just about growing rugby now, but helping rugby recover, and we are committed to working with our friends across the rugby world to get our game back up and running."

 

For the RFU’s statement, please click here.

For the full judgment, please click here.

Full the full sanctions, please click here.