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Barbarians announce their return to action following last October's infamous cancellation versus England

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images for Barbarians)

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The famed Barbarians have announced they will return to action next November for the first time since last October’s embarrassing cancellation of their match with England at Twickenham following breaches of the Covid hotel safety bubble. 

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Thirteen players – including ex-England skipper Chris Robshaw – faced RFU misconduct charges following the late cancellation of the Barbarians fixture just 48 hours before it was due to go ahead and they learned in December about their various punishments.

An RFU statement at the time named the 13 players involved as Alex Lewington, Fergus McFadden, Juan Pablo Socino, Robshaw, Richard Wigglesworth, Jackson Wray, Calum Clark, Sean Maitland, Tim Swinson, Tom de Glanville, Joel Kpoku, Manu Vunipola and Simon Kerrod.

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What happened when RugbyPass went behind the scenes at the Barbarians in November 2019

Four months on from this disciplinary outcome which followed the game-cancelling debacle, the Barbarians have revealed they will pick up the thread and get back to playing when they take on Samoa next November for the Killik Cup. It will be their second fixture versus the Samoans having hosted them previously at London Olympic Stadium in 2015 in what was the first-ever rugby match staged at that venue.   

Barbarians president John Spencer was glad to return to the business of playing matches. He said: “We are very happy to announce our 2021 Killik Cup fixture this November and look forward to welcoming Samoa to Twickenham for what will no doubt be a wonderful match.

“With our long history of playing with our trademark style of flair, courage, spirit and passion, the Barbarians love lining up against exciting international sides like Samoa and we know this fixture will be an unforgettable rugby experience. The Barbarians are also looking forward to welcoming back fans back to HQ for the 2021 Killik Cup for what always promises to be an electric and unmissable game of international rugby.”

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Tickets for the November 27 match have already gone on sale via Ticketmaster (click here) and new Samoa boss Seilala Mapusua, the ex-London Irish centre, can’t wait for the game to happen. “Playing for the Barbarians was one of the highlights of my career. Their style of rugby gives you the freedom to simply go out and express yourself on the field alongside numerous international superstars of the game.

“So, it is not only a great honour to play for the Barbarians, but a great privilege for the Manu Samoa to play against them too. Fixtures such as these play an important role in the development of players on the international stage and provide fantastic building blocks for Samoa in the run-up to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. 

“The flair of the Barbarians will certainly test our attack and defensive systems and we look forward to entertaining the rugby fans at Twickenham too.”

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Barbarians announce their return to action following last October's infamous cancellation versus England

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