Footage has emerged of a number of Barbarians players including former England captain Chris Robshaw drinking alcohol in a London pub.

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The video that has been circulated on social media is believed to be from one of the two night’s out that forced the cancellation of Sunday’s annual fixture at Twickenham for a breach of coronavirus protocols.

Robshaw, Sean Maitland, Jackson Wray, Joel Kpoku and Manu Vunipola are among the group who appear to be playing a drinking game at the pub, which is understood to be in Mayfair.

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A Rugby Football Union investigation into the players’ misconduct is ongoing with a view to bringing disrepute charges against any wrongdoing.

So far Robshaw, Richard Wigglesworth, Jackson Wray, Joel Kpoku and Fergus McFadden have used social media to express their remorse.

England’s World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward has described their conduct as “ridiculously stupid”, and the consequence of their actions is being felt at Twickenham in the shape of a substantial rebate to Sky Sports, who were due to broadcast the match.

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It comes at a time when the RFU is battling a financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in 140 people being made redundant amid a predicted £60million loss in revenue.

“We are incredibly disappointed to be calling a halt to this fixture, we know how much fans were looking forward to seeing the teams play,” RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said.

“However, our priority is to protect the health and safety of the England squad and the other international teams they will go up against this autumn.

“There has been a great deal of effort put into Covid codes of conduct and planning for games, including co-operation with Premiership clubs to release additional players to fulfil the fixture safely, and we are all incredibly frustrated and disappointed that the actions of a number of Barbarians players mean we no longer feel it is safe for the game to go ahead.”

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The cancellation is a significant blow to Eddie Jones, who was due to name a strong team on Friday morning as preparation for Saturday’s clash with Italy when a conclusive victory should be enough to secure the third Six Nations title of his reign.

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