To all our supporters and players around the world,

These are unprecedented times. We are facing uncertainty as, day-by-day, the global situation changes and governments and societies respond. Our friends in many countries are now on total lockdown as the numbers of people with symptoms increase and millions are now affected by government measures.

As a global community, we are extremely aware of how all of our Barbarians family is and will be affected. 

For our players, with seasons put on hold and uncertainty around when we are able to play again, we appreciate the enormous difficulties you are facing and want to encourage you to keep talking, reaching out to those who can help and remember this will not be forever. 

For our supporters, we know these are immensely difficult times as society retracts and usual routines and support networks have to adapt. Follow your government’s directives, be sensible, be safe and look after yourselves and your loved ones. Build virtual communities and we will emerge from this a stronger society. 

Our sport is one small aspect of the global community that has been affected like never before. We know many of you will also have been looking forward to seeing the Barbarians back in action in 2020.

As governments around the world are taking measures to deal with Coronavirus, the impact on global sport has been considerable. National rugby unions and tournament organisers have suspended international competitions such as the Six Nations and national club rugby competitions. In addition, many countries have taken the difficult decision to suspend all rugby activities in the interests of public health and the safety of everyone around the world. 

Our upcoming Barbarians fixtures have also been affected by the British Government’s recent advice, the RFU’s suspension of the English rugby season below Premiership Rugby level and by international travel restrictions.

Our women’s side were due to play the USA Women’s Eagles on Sunday 3 May; with increasing global travel restrictions this match has been postponed along with the double header San Diego Legion v Austin Gilgronis Major League Rugby fixture.

Heading towards the end of the English rugby season, our men’s side were due to take on Fylde RFC as part of their 100thanniversary celebrations, and Oxford University RFC as part of their 150thanniversary celebrations. 

All these matches have been postponed at this stage. We have every intention of rescheduling each affected match and are working closely with USA Rugby, Fylde RFC and Oxford University RFC to find alternative dates. 

We will keep all our supporters around the globe posted on ongoing developments and how they affect the rescheduling of these games, and any impact on future fixtures including the England Rugby v Barbarians fixture due to take place at Twickenham on Sunday 21 June. The health and safety of players, supporters and staff remains our priority. 

In these unprecedented times, I’d again like to take this opportunity to urge you all to listen to the advice from your country’s Government and health services, follow that advice closely and stay safe and healthy. 

Look after yourselves and your loved ones and we will see you back on the rugby pitch supporting the famous black and white shirt before too long. 

John Spencer