Robshaw among BaaBaas players punished for protocol breaches

LONDON (AP) — Former England captain Chris Robshaw was among 13 rugby players who were banned, fined and ordered Tuesday to carry out community work for breaches of coronavirus protocols while on duty with the Barbarians.

Their actions led to the cancellation of the team’s match against England in October.

The players left the invitational team’s bubble to visit pubs, bars and restaurants in London days before the match, contrary to regulations in place during the pandemic and without the permission of Barbarians officials. Some of the players in question provided false statements during an investigation by England’s Rugby Football Union.

The 13 players were banned for a combined 85 weeks — with 44 weeks suspended — and fined 18½ weeks worth of wages, while ordered to undertake a total of 630 hours of community service.

The match between the Barbarians — a storied team featuring players called up from many different countries — and England scheduled for Oct. 25 at Twickenham had to be canceled.

It was expected to be a warmup match for England ahead of its delayed Six Nations match game against Italy, as well as a Twickenham farewell for Robshaw, who was heading to play club rugby in the United States.

Robshaw was banned for four weeks and fined two weeks worth of salary.

All 13 players accepted the charges of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game, with the sanctions determined by the severity of the breaches.

Among them were Scotland winger Sean Maitland and former England international Richard Wigglesworth.

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