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Barbarians match suffers another 11th-hour cancellation

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians

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The famed Barbarians reputation has been seriously dented again 13 months on from their cancelled game versus England as the RFU announced approximately 90 minutes before Saturday’s planned 2.30pm kick-off versus Samoa at Twickenham that the match was suddenly cancelled. Concerns over bubble breaches were the reason why the clash featuring Chris Robshaw and co versus England fell by the wayside in October last year, and Covid concerns have again been the factor in this latest eleventh-hour Barbarians call-off.

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A statement read: “Due to six confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Barbarians men’s team (four players and two members of staff), the professional game testing oversight group has advised that the fixture scheduled to be played against Samoa at 2.30 pm today is unable to proceed.

“We appreciate that this is an extremely disappointing situation for the many fans due to attend, but the safety of all members of both teams is our priority.

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What happened when RugbyPass went behind the scenes with Warren Gatland’s 2019 Barbarians
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What happened when RugbyPass went behind the scenes with Warren Gatland’s 2019 Barbarians

“Following consultation with the Barbarians committee and South Africa, the fixture between Barbarians Women and Springbok Women’s XV will now move to the 2.30pm KO and all tickets purchased are valid for this match.

“The match will be broadcast live on BBC 1 with coverage starting at 2pm. A full automatic refund will be made to all ticket holders. However, fans are encouraged to attend the Barbarians Women and Springbok Women’s XV.”

Australia boss Dave Rennie had named a Barbarians team for the Killik Cup match that included seven Australians, three Springboks, three Japanese, one Scot and one Argentine in a starting XV that was to be skippered by Ryan Wilson, the RugbyPass Offload show co-host. Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Duane Vermeulen were to provide a very South African complexion to the starting pack just seven days after they were part of the Springboks squad beaten by England in the Autumn Nations Series finale.

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Meanwhile, Rob Leota, Pete Samu, Nic White, James O’Connor, Filipo Daugunu, Len Ikitau and Tom Wright were the seven starting Australians in a match that would have also given Ireland’s Rob Kearney his last run before retirement as he had been chosen on the Barbarians bench.

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